Everyone knows that mail theft is a very serious problem in the United States — but one recent study reveals that the issue may be a lot more severe than a lot of us realized.

GPS Tracking

According to an internal study conducted by the United States Postal Service, about 10,000 criminal suspects are arrested each year — many for mail theft or for the possession of stolen mail. The Postal Inspection Service responds to about 900 postal-related assaults and credible threats each year as well, which itself leads to hundreds of arrests from coast to coast. But the real shocker is the fact that roughly 3,000 new mail fraud cases are opened every year — pointing to a problem that seems to be getting worse over time.

In an effort to help curb this problem as much as possible, federal agents have used a series of increasingly sophisticated techniques to help make sure that this type of thing doesn’t happen to you. Case in point: One suspected mail thief was recently arrested using GPS tracking technology in a situation that is absolutely worth keeping an eye on moving forward.

 

The Case of the Mail Thief and GPS: Here’s What Happened

The aforementioned mail thief is a San Antonio man named Jared Lee Jeffries, someone who federal agents had been keeping an eye on for quite some time. According to the recently filed criminal complaint, a postal inspector actually got a federal warrant a few months ago that allowed him to insert a GPS tracking device inside a “dummy” package that was then shipped through the post office, the same as anything else. It had a valid tracking number and was accepted into the mail system like normal.

The package made its way through the system until it arrived at a USPS locker in Possum Tree, Texas. At that point, Jeffries did exactly what he’d always done: He stole the package using a series of counterfeit postal keys that he’d had made at some point in the past.

Jeffries actually thought he was being smart — he waited a full two weeks before he stole the package. But once that package began moving, federal agents were able to pinpoint its exact location using the GPS device hidden inside.

First, the package made its way to a nearby pizza restaurant. It eventually ended its journey about 2.5 miles away from its original location. When the police raided Jeffries home, not only did they find the package — they also found a pizza box from that exact same restaurant.

Interestingly enough, when police examined the USPS locker, they noticed that there was a blood stain on it and that it had clearly been tampered with. When Jeffries was arrested, the police also noticed that his knuckles were bloody — further proof that this was the man that they had been looking for.

It’s also important to note that this is not the first time that Jeffries had been on the wrong side of the law. Earlier in 2018, his home was raided and police found illicit narcotics, 500 rounds of ammunition and other concerning items. When he was eventually charged, Jeffries – who was already a convicted felon long before any of this ever started — was hit with one count of possessing stolen mail and another of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Jeffries, if convicted, faces up to 15 years in prison just for the federal mail theft case alone — to say nothing of how much time could be added to his sentence for the other charges, as well as for at one point a conviction of intoxicated assault and being in possession of a controlled substance.

In the end, let this be a lesson to all would-be postal thieves out there: It’s just not worth it. Mail theft is not a victimless crime. It’s very serious, which is why it immediately becomes a federal case. The next time you think you’re being sneaky and are very close to getting away with it, you need to realize just how wrong you probably are.