Calaveras County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a spate of burglaries over the weekend.
Two separate U.S. Post Offices in Burson and Wallace, a San Andreas head shop and multiple vehicles in both Valley Springs and San Andreas were among the targets for burglars and vandals early Saturday through Sunday night.
The first to get hit was the U.S. Post Office in Burson early Saturday morning, where it was discovered burglars had pried open and stole mail for 18 different P.O. boxes in the 24-hour lobby, said Troy Dickinson, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
He said the suspects then moved on to the U.S. Post Office in Wallace, where it was reported 15 boxes had been broken into.
“We always try to tell people to pick up their mail daily and not leave it in the boxes overnight,” Dickinson said.
Both post offices are notifying all of the box holders and advising them to monitor financial statements in case any of their information is used fraudulently, according to Dickinson.
The theft of mail is a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison with a fine of up to $250,000, Dickson said. Felony charges could be added if the mail is used to commit fraud and the thieves also face local charges for the burglaries, he added.
According to Dickinson, postal inspectors are working with Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office and Lodi police because the crimes are suspected to be connected with similar burglaries at post offices in the Central Valley city.
Dickinson said there were no leads on suspects and anyone with more information is asked to call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.
Sheriff’s patrol deputies also had their hands full over the weekend with a number of Sunday morning reports stating vehicles in Valley Springs had been vandalized and broken into, according to Sheriff’s dispatch logs.
Many of the reports originated from the area of Robin Road and Mockingbird Hill and a majority said the vehicles had been keyed and burglarized.
Similar crimes were also reported later that morning on Wimbledon Drive in San Andreas, according to dispatch logs.
Sheriff’s deputies also responded about 11:31 p.m. to a burglary in progress at Hemptation, a head shop on East St. Charles Street.
Sgt. Chris Hewitt said the suspects broke out the front window of the store to gain entry and stole merchandise including several types of glass water pipes, smoking pipes, skateboards, lighters and clothing.
The property loss was valued at about $10,000, Hewitt said.
He said deputies are investigating the crimes, but there are no leads on suspects and it hasn’t been confirmed whether all of the incidents were connected.
“At this time, it’s too soon to tell whether it’s related or if there were several people going on crime sprees,” Hewitt said.