AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – According to released court documents, an Amarillo man was arrested in early July after “armfuls of mail” were stolen out of local United States Postal Service Blue collection boxes across the city.
A criminal complaint, filed on July 7 with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Amarillo division, noted that Eliosbeth Rojas was arrested on a charge of possessing “stolen mail matter” on July 5.
Court documents said that an Amarillo bank contacted the United States Postal Inspection Service in February after several customers reported mail thefts relating to checks deposited in assorted USPS collection boxes around the city. The Amarillo Police Department was also noted to have gotten multiple mail theft reports from the community.
After a range of subpoenas and affidavits, and investigations into checks being intercepted in the mail stream, officials reported that the loss due to the mail theft was around $294,044.61.
On May 5, according to court documents, surveillance footage from an Amarillo post office at around 12:54 a.m. showed a dark-colored Mercedes with a driver-side tail light out, bearing a temporary paper tag, approaching a USPS Blue collection box. A man wearing blue jeans and a dark-colored shirt with a bald head was seen stealing armfuls of mail from the side collection door, which requires a specific type of key that officials believed the man had counterfeit or stolen.
At around 8 p.m. on July 4, another collection box was burglarized by the same man driving a dark-colored Mercedes, documents said. Surveillance showed that the man left the Mercedes in order to steal armfuls of mail, and left the scene less than a minute later.
On July 5, court documents described a similar burglary committed by the same man at around 2 a.m. at a different collection box.
Officials reported that surveillance was run in the 4200 block of Richard Avenue, in which a dark-colored Mercedes matching the vehicle in the available footage was found. Research into the plate of the Mercedes returned records for a different vehicle, and the vehicle’s records returned with three different plates on file from three different states. However, officials were also able to find that Rojas was a listed driver for the Mercedes.
Later on July 5, officers reported that Rojas left his home on South Bowie Street and drove to South Washington, where he was seen carrying “what appeared to be United Supermarket bags” that were later found in a dumpster, containing US Mail that appeared to have been stolen. Rojas was arrested and a criminal complaint was filed against him in Amarillo Federal Court.
This story is developing. Check with MyHighPlains.com for updates.