“Basically, the entire U.S. Postal Service is riddled with fraud.”
That’s the sobering opinion of a law enforcement source after yet another person is allegedly caught clearing out mailboxes at a Loop residential building — with the help of real and counterfeit Postal Service master keys.
Candice Shandor, 32, was arrested Friday after a witness allegedly saw her removing envelopes and parcels from mailboxes at a condo building in the 800 block of South Wells around 10:30 a.m. The witness followed Shandor, took note of her license plate number, and called police.
Officers found the car parked nearby. Prosecutors said Shandor had mail shipments from the condo building in the vehicle along with a U.S. Postal Service master key. She allegedly admitted to taking the mail.
But she’s charged with much more than package theft. Prosecutors hit her with charges of identity theft, forgery, burglary, possession of burglary tools, and possession of methamphetamine. She also had outstanding warrants for criminal trespass to vehicles and obstruction of identification, according to prosecutors.
Among the things found in Shandor’s possession were checks, credit cards, and “entire personal profiles” of other individuals, according to the source.
Mail thieves are “part of a larger operation that uses stolen mail to open checking accounts and launder stolen checks,” among other crimes, the source said.
Cops detained other people with Shandor who are likely involved in a bigger operation, but they were all released at the scene.
The officers “didn’t know what they had,” the source continued.
The keys that Shandor allegedly possessed allowed her to enter the front doors of buildings and mailbox systems.
Judge Charles beach set bail for Shandor at $5,000 in the Loop incident and $5,000 on each of the warrants. She is required to go onto electronic monitoring if she posts bond.
Chicago police have issued a series of warnings about mailroom thefts across the city this year. Many of the bulletins have mentioned that thieves use Postal Service keys to access buildings and mail storage areas.