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Residential Mail Theft Hits Los Altos

Homeowner's surveillance video captured the the crime in south Los Altos neighborhood.

A red arrow points to the van with the suspect reaching out into the homeowner's mailbox. (Photo: Special to Patch)
A red arrow points to the van with the suspect reaching out into the homeowner's mailbox. (Photo: Special to Patch)

Residential mail theft has seen a recent uptick in many Bay Area communities and Los Altos is not immune to this crime.

On Tuesday, Jan. 28 a Los Altos resident reported to police that her mail was swiped from a roadside mailbox in front of her home in a south Los Altos neighborhood. Fortunately, the theft was captured on video by the homeowner’s home surveillance camera.

“I put a bill in the mail box yesterday and raised the red flag to alert the mail carrier there was a letter to be mailed,” said the woman, who asked that her name not be revealed.  

The surveillance video shows a white van driving up to the resident’s mailbox at about 9:54 a.m. Tuesday morning. A woman appears to reach out from the passenger’s side of the van and remove the mail from the box. The van then makes a U-turn in and drives away.

The homeowners learned about the theft quickly. “My husband has been in the habit recently checking our video footage because the neighbors recently had their cars burglarized,” the woman told Patch in an email. She added that, “We have lived here for 22 years and crime is definitely on the rise.” 

Police were notified and given a copy of the surveillance video and are investigating. 

If anyone has information on this crime, call Los Altos police at 650-947-2770.

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