Rise in Mill Valley Mail Theft

By Kennedy Cook and Charlie Rosgen

Over the past month there has been a series of mail thefts around Strawberry and Tam Valley. The alarm has spread throughout the social media site, Nextdoor, which is popular among adults in local neighborhoods.

There are high and low points of activity, and this year seems like mail thieves are a bit more active,” said Mill Valley police officer Steve Heisinger.

The thieves have been targeting credit card and checking account information, which after being used, have been helpful during investigations to identify the thieves.

The Mill Valley Police Department (MVPD) is advising the public to invest in lockable mail boxes in order to make their contents harder to steal.       

Staci Robinson, a Homestead Valley resident, has been a victim of mail theft on multiple occasions over the past few years. “They probably hit our mailbox three to four times one fall, [and] since then they’ve raided our mailbox at least three to four times a year,” she said. The Robinson family has since installed security cameras and a lockable mailbox.

Another family in Homestead Valley suffered the same crime. “On about five to six occasions over the last two years we’ve driven past [our streets’ community mailboxes] in the early morning and every mailbox has been wide open and empty,” parent Saor Sterler said.

More recently, people have reported their mail being opened and left in locations far from their homes. There has been a lot of talk regarding the Mill Valley Inn room that was raided by the police on August 18th. Two suspects rented the room via Airbnb, but failed to pay the fee.

When officers arrived on the scene, they discovered a large amount of mail that was believed to be stolen.

“The mail was turned over to the Postmaster at the MV Post Office and the investigation is ongoing,” Hiesinger said.

Police say residents should be cautious of suspicious vehicles driving around their neighborhood, and communities with large clusters of mailboxes should purchase lockable boxes to ensure the safety of their mail. MVPD Patrol divisions have been deployed to protect the targeted areas. Residents should also report any unfamiliar cars or questionable personnel in their neighborhoods. The MVPD emphasizes community watch as the key to ensuring the safety of everyone.