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Police: Off-duty officer helps stamp out mail theft in West Roxbury

Boston Police report arresting four alleged postal purloiners they say were busy lifting letters out of a mailbox at one of West Roxbury's quieter corners early this morning.

Police say that around 1:35 a.m., an off-duty officer who'd just gotten off a nearby detail job spotted four males clustered around a mailbox at Stimson and Centre streets, busily removing letters from it - as a motor vehicle idled next to them. Police say the officer stopped and did a first-class job rounding up all four - even though two tried to run and two tried to get into the car and drive away - and held them until on-duty officers arrived.

Once on scene, officers observed several opened pieces of mail on the ground next to, as well as, inside the vehicle. None of the opened mail was addressed to or included the name of any of the four individuals being detained.

Police did not specify how the four were removing letters, but West Roxbury and Roslindale have seen a recent spate of miscreants attaching adhesives around mailbox slots, making it easier to remove letters with money or other valuables inside. Local postal authorities have begun replacing boxes with newer versions aimed at canceling that practice.

Arriving on-duty officers delivered the four - Cesar Ramirez-Soto, 20, of Roxbury and Jeremy Baez Valdez, 18, both with Roxbury addresses, Howie Villalona-Guerreru, 18, of Dorchester, and a Dorchester 17-year-old too young to have his name released - to the E-5 station, where they were charged with larceny (mail theft) and receiving stolen property, police say.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

Now I know why my car payment last month went never arrived even though I mailed it out.

The last time I had a car loan, the bank required automatic electronic payment.

I didn't know that you could still do this old school! (tips hat)

I could be wrong, but my memories from the distant past say stealing mail is a federal crime.

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Indeed it is. Lock them up!

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One of the finest of the hundred different law enforcement agencies that patrol the streets of Boston.

I'm perplexed as why the young thieves would be stealing mail from a post box. Would they expect to find valuable small package? Could they readily cash any checks they purloined?