The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is in the process of reuniting 315 pieces of mail stolen from 125 separate addresses in southern Chehalis and Onalaska following an arrest early Friday morning.
The arrest came after law enforcement officials received a report of a suspicious vehicle, described as a large red SUV with a deactivated yellow light on top, stopping at mailboxes in the 100 block of Mooreland Drive south of Chehalis at approximately 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 6.
A deputy with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office located the vehicle approximately five minutes after the report came in and, noticing it had expired tags, conducted a traffic stop.
Upon contacting the driver, the deputy noticed a “suspiciously large amount of mail inside the vehicle,” according to Field Operations Bureau Chief Dusty Breen.
The driver, an Onalaska resident, reportedly told the deputy that she was delivering the mail.
“The story that the sole occupant and driver (of the vehicle) offered just isn’t adding up,” said Breen.
The driver was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of stolen mail, a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
The Chronicle is choosing not to identify the driver until charges are filed. She was not in custody at the Lewis County Jail as of Monday morning, according to jail records.
After the driver was arrested Friday morning, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office obtained a warrant to search the vehicle and found 315 separate mail items from 125 addresses located primarily in Chehalis and in Onalaska.
As of Monday morning, a few of the victims had been contacted about the stolen mail as of the investigation, but sheriff’s office personnel were still working to contact the majority of the victims.
Chehalis and Onalaska residents who have recently had mail stolen are encouraged to contact the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 360-748-9286.