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WALNUT CREEK: Reverse Postmen Captured – Mail Comes, They Take It Away

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What the mailman leaveth, they taketh away.

NEWS24-680 readers know we post pictures and video of suspected mail raiders from time to time, grainy and distorted images of people running up to your front porch and snatching gramma’s birthday present to cousin Nickie right off the welcome mat. Today, we get a closeup look at one such pair.

As crimes go it’s a relatively simple one: follow the local postal worker or delivery driver around town and pick up what was just delivered – everything from baby wipes to rare coins. If we’re lucky we capture a glimpse of a doorstep raider. If not they are free to roam, doing what they do, collapsing credit ratings and subverting the identities of law-abiding folks who can’t understand how equipment for an indoor marijuana grow could magically appear on Aunt Bea’s credit card.

Every once in a while we get lucky, and a sharp-eyed police officer like the one who stopped a suspicious pair in Palo Alto recently hits the Mother Lode, and we get to see who has been taking from us.

Mail thief at work.

The officer stopped a teal 1993 Ford Ranger pickup occupied by Shawn M. McCourt, 28, and Julie A. Scott, 37, both of Hayward, on Aug. 30. He determined that the pair were on probation for prior burglaries and identity theft and, after some digging, found two sacks of a mail snatched from mailboxes in Walnut Creek and the Peninsula inside.

Most of the packages and mail had been stolen from porches or unsecured mailboxes within the 24 hours prior to McCourt and Scott’s arrest, officers said. The Walnut Creek mail, consisting of personal checks pilfered from a mailbox weeks earlier and apparently destined for a buying spree the couple may have had planned, was found along with flashlights, a crowbar, hammer, and other tools believed to have been used in the commission of some of the thefts.

McCourt and Scott were booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of mail theft, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and identity theft. Scott was also booked on suspicion of a probation violation and driving on a suspended license. Prosecutors have also charged the pair with felony mail theft and possession of stolen property, and a misdemeanor count of possession of burglary tools.

The mail has since been forwarded on to its intended destinations, according to police.