MENDOCINO Co., 12/19/16 -- The following information came from a December 19 press release issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The Mendocino Voice has not independently confirmed the information. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
In preparation for the holiday season, Sheriff's Office deputies began an anti-theft campaign across Mendocino County in coordination with postal workers and numerous private citizens who participated in surveillance, targeting mail theft in rural areas.
After a reported theft on West Road in Redwood Valley, deputies were able to track a suspect car to the city of Ukiah, where with the assistance of Ukiah Police Department officers, deputies searched the suspect car. Deputies discovered thefts in the vehicle from multiple locations including Pine Mountain in Willits, and Tomki Road and West Road in Redwood Valley. It appeared the suspects were targeting holiday packages and gifts from rural mail boxes. Deputies then arrested the driver of the vehicle, suspect 22 year old Katelyn Walker, and the passenger of the vehicle, a 17 year old female juvenile, both described as transients from the Willits area.
Incident Number: 2016-38691
Crime/Incident: 182 PC [Conspiracy]
530.5(e) PC [Mail theft]
496 PC [Possess stolen property]
488 PC [Theft]
272 PC [Contributed to delinquency of a minor]
Location: Various locations, including Pine Mountain in Willits, Tomki Road in Redwood Valley and West Road in Redwood Valley.
Date of Incident: 12-18-2016
Time: 10:00 PM
Victim(s): Numerous individual mail box holders
Suspect(s): Katelyn Walker, adult female 22 years of age, transient Willits area.
Female juvenile, 17 years of age, transient Willits area.
Written By: Sgt. Matthew Kendall #2316
Synopsis: In preparation for the holiday season, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office recently began an anti-mail theft campaign throughout Mendocino County. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies, working in cooperation with United States Postal Inspectors and numerous private citizens began an intensive surveillance program, specifically targeting thefts of mail on rural mail routes.
On 12-18-2016 Deputies learned that items of mail had been stolen from the area of West Road in Redwood Valley. Deputies were able to locate the suspect vehicle in the city of Ukiah and with the assistance of Ukiah Police Department, conducted a traffic stop. Inside the vehicle deputies found stolen mail from Tomki Road in Redwood Valley and the Pine Mountain area of Willits. A search of the vehicle revealed stolen property including mail and packages from numerous locations. The investigation lead to the arrest of the driver, Katelyn Walker, a 22 year old as well as the passenger, a 17 year old female. Both suspects were transients from the Willits area.
The investigation revealed the subjects were stealing items from rural mail boxes and were specifically targeting packages, holiday cards and items which would contain cash or valuables. Walker was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges including conspiracy to commit a crime, theft, mail theft, possession of stolen property and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The juvenile was booked into the Mendocino County Juvenile Hall on charges of conspiracy, theft, mail theft and possession of stolen property. Walker's bail was set at $30,000.00.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the citizens who assisted in this investigation, and to remind members of the public who have rural delivery mail boxes to remove your mail daily. If you are going to be gone, contact the United States Postal Service for a stop delivery to your mail box and to report any suspicious vehicles or persons who might be involved in mail theft.
Approved by: Lieutenant Shannon Barney