Cops found mail, packages, forged postal service keys during Lakeview traffic stop, prosecutors say

From left: Kenneth Knight (2015), Liliana Therault, and Jacob Wellington. (Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO — Three suburbanites are facing charges after Chicago cops allegedly found them in a car with forged postal service master keys, bags of mail, and credit cards and IDs belonging to other people.

The police investigation began as a simple traffic stop for Kenneth Knight when cops saw him driving near Irving Park Road and Broadway around 4 a.m. on January 24. He had a dark-tinted plate on his rear license plate, according to a CPD report.

But the traffic stop quickly turned into something else. A police incident report said cops saw two bags of unopened and undelivered mail in the car’s back seat, along with a box of packages. On the front passenger floorboard, police say, were three forged postal service master keys, also known as “arrow keys.”

Altogether, CPD officers said they recovered 210 pieces of mail and nine unopened packages.

Neither Knight nor his two passengers could provide “verifiable information on the rightful owners of the mail,” said Knight’s arrest report. The Palatine resident is only charged with operating a motor vehicle with a plate cover and possession of burglary tools, a charge stemming from the fact that cops said they found a screwdriver in his pants pocket.

Judge Ankur Srivastava released him from custody.

Knight’s back seat passenger, Liliana Therault, was sitting next to all of the mail, police say. She had a couple of pry tools in her purse along with an ID, credit cards, and a TJ Maxx rewards card issued under different names, according to a police incident report.

She’s charged with two counts of felony ID theft, possessing a fraudulent ID card, unlawful possession of three or more debit or credit cards, misdemeanor theft, and possessing burglary tools.

Front passenger Jacob Wellington, 38, of Berwyn, is charged with identity theft, possessing a fraudulent ID, misdemeanor theft, and possessing burglary tools. In addition to the forged master keys allegedly found at his feet, police said they found a concealed carry license issued to a different man in his wallet.

Therault and Wellington were released from the police station with notices to appear in court.

Mail theft reward

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service offered a $100,000 reward on Monday for information leading them to a mail thief working in Lincoln Park and the Near North Side.

The man seen in these pictures is responsible for “numerous vandalism and mail theft incidents” in the 60610 and 60614 ZIP codes between late November and this month, according to the service’s reward poster. Officials said he breaks into mailboxes and steals mail, which he totes away in a plastic grocery bag.

Surveillance images of a man being sought for mail theft in Lincoln Park and Old Town. (U.S. Postal Inspection Service)

Investigators linked him to mail thefts in the 1300 and 1400 blocks of North Cleveland, the 1600 block of North Hudson, the 300 block of West Concord, and the 300 block of West Scott.

Information can be shared with postal inspectors at 877-876-2455. Refer to case number 4142062.

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