A burglary crew is breaking into residential buildings to steal mailbox contents on the North Side, Chicago police said Friday. The crime is similar to patterns identified elsewhere in the city that involve organized crews that use stolen or duplicated postal service keys to access buildings and delivered mail.
“Basically, the entire U.S. Postal Service is riddled with fraud,” a law enforcement source told CWB recently.
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.
According to the newly-released alert, mail thefts have been reported in four buildings across Uptown and Lincoln Square since March 9:
- on the 800 block of West Argyle at 5:10 a.m. March 9
- on the 2400 block of West Foster at 2:30 a.m. March 10
- on the 4900 block of North Marine at 2:17 a.m. March 16
- on the 4900 block of North Western at 2 a.m. March 19
Police provided descriptions of five offenders:
- a White female with strawberry blond hair pulled in a ponytail who wears black and white gym shoes
- a bald White male who wears a black jacket
- an individual with a light complexion and a tattoo on the left hand who wears a white panda hat
- a male of unknown race in his early- to mid-20’s who wears a white baseball cap
- a White male in his early- to mid-20’s who wears a gray baseball cap
Anyone with information about the thieves can contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8263 regarding crime pattern P21-3-036.
Two months ago, police issued a similar alert for the Lincoln Park and Ravenswood neighborhoods after a group of two men and two women stole mail and packages from residential buildings. Detectives said those thieves are two men and two women of unknown race with light complexions between 20- and 30-years-old.
In November, a woman was allegedly caught red-handed as she stole envelopes and parcels from mailboxes inside a Loop condo building. Prosecutors said she was carrying a U.S. Postal Service master key as they charged her with identity theft, forgery, burglary, possession of burglary tools, and possession of methamphetamine.