SAN RAMON, Calif. (KRON) – Mail theft is on the rise here in the Bay Area. Police in an East Bay city says there appears to be a link to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investigators explain how a network of cameras are helping police track down mail theft suspects.

Photos were taken Tuesday of two mail theft suspects being arrested by San Ramon Police. Investigators say the pair targeted mailboxes in multiple cities across the East Bay.

“We recovered stolen mail from our victims from this prior week as well as residents within Danville, Walnut Creek, and Vallejo,” Captain Cary Goldberg said. 

The arrests happened within days of the actual crime as a result of the suspect vehicle being recorded by a residential surveillance camera, represented by the green dots on the map. 

The camera is part of a 280 citywide volunteer civilian camera registry. 

San Ramon Police Captain Cary Goldberg says that the vehicle’s information was given to police departments in the Tri-Valley area who then used their own police network of license plate reader cameras to track down the suspect vehicle.

“Danville had entered that vehicle into our camera system and we received the alert when it entered our city,” Goldberg said. 

The suspects were arrested a short time later. Investigators say there appears to be a connection to the rise in Bay Area mail theft crimes and thieves targeting people who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus and are waiting for their unemployment checks to arrive in the mail.

“Since this pandemic began and since the checks started being mailed out, identity theft has been on the rise, as well as mail theft,” Goldberg said. 

If you are a San Ramon resident and would like to register your home surveillance cameras with the police department, they would love to hear from you.

“By register I mean just simply let us know that you have a camera and the ability to let us know if something strange happens in their neighborhood,” Goldberg said.

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