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LAPD searching for a ring of thieves raiding mailboxes in Sherman Oaks

LAPD searching for a ring of thieves raiding mailboxes in Sherman Oaks
LAPD searching for a ring of thieves raiding mailboxes in Sherman Oaks 02:43

Residents of Sherman Oaks' Dickens Street are frustrated and scared after a ring of thieves has repeatedly broken into their mailboxes.

"It's a complete violation of people's privacy and the safety of the neighborhood," said resident Michelle Lenke. 

Neighbors along the stretch of Dickens Street are frustrated and several have pointed out that one of the buildings along their road has been burglarized several times.

"It's definitely a concern," said resident Camille White-Stern. "I don't think anybody wants their identity stolen."

The Los Angeles Police Department released photos that appear to be taken inside the building. They are currently looking for nine suspects seen in the security photos.


"People are desperate and I think these are desperate times," said Lenke. 

Investigators said one person is usually the lookout while the other breaks into the mailboxes. In some cases, the person is just an extra set of hands to carry the bag of stolen mail. 

"It's awful that it's happening and it's heartbreaking that things have gotten to the point that now we're moving entire mailboxes to steal identities," said resident Nina Storey. 

LAPD said this person is connected to at least five burglaries. LAPD

Police said some of the thieves have used a screwdriver, made their own mailbox keys or stolen the master mail key. 

"If it's organized crime then yeah, I feel more helpless about it because they're working together to circumvent whatever security measures we put in place," said resident Simon Younesi. 

The crimes, at least 10 of them, started in August with four break-ins followed by two in September and four more in October. All within the LAPD's Van Nuys Division. Officers said that one person is connected to five of the recent burglaries. 

"It definitely makes me want to be more on high alert," said White-Stern. "Just aware of who is in our neighborhood."

Police have clarified that the break-ins happened in overnight hours between midnight and 5 a.m.

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