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Thieves Target Dozens Of Mailboxes In Dublin Right Before Christmas

DUBLIN (KPIX 5) -- Dozens of families were outraged when thieves stole mail out of more than 40 mailboxes in Dublin.

The crooks targeted homes near Rolling Hills and Brittany drives in Dublin.

On Tuesday, Michele Wieser didn't need to open up her mailbox -- it was already opened for her.  She quickly discovered, "All the mailboxes are open all the way down the hill."

In the middle of the night someone swiped her mail and the mail of close to 40 other neighbors along Rolling Hills Drive in Dublin.

"Christmas is here, you know there were tons of gift cards and probably presents everybody lost for their kids or their loved ones," Wieser said.

Now, her neighbors are lined up like Black Friday at the post office, but instead of mailing packages they're there to pick them up.

Mail theft is federal crime, and the post office's law enforcement arm has launched several investigations into the spike. But until the case is solved, these folks' mail will be kept at the post office -- so that it is kept safe.

"I hope they catch these people and fast," Wieser said.

David Selinger with the company Deep Sentinel in Pleasanton has developed software that could help with just this situation. It take photos if a stranger opens up your mailbox and then sends an alert to your phone.

"Our goal is to prevent the crime while it's in progress," Selinger said. "In the case of mail theft, it's actually able to identify a person stopped and loitering and run it through artificial intelligence."

Deep Sentinel will be launching the software in the new year.

After an alert is sent via mobile app, Selinger says they can "launch a drown intervention."

"The drone is programmed to protect the mailbox - it sends the drone to protect right in front of the mailbox," he explains.

"We are also building a set of interventions like speaking to the person...using drones to intervene in the midst of committing a crime," Selinger said.

Its already live in a select number of homes during the research and testing trial phase.

When someone approaches your front door, the alerts go directly to your phone. And only alerts that warrant your attention, like a security breach.

"When you get an alert you better listen to it because we have good accuracy," Winston Chen of Deep Sentinel said.

The company says Deep Sentinel software can work on a majority of home surveillance cameras -- all you will need is the software.

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