Temple couple arrested in rash of post office break-ins

BELL COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) —  After four months and more than two dozen burglaries of Central Texas post office boxes, Postal Inspectors have arrested a couple they believe are responsible for the crimes.

According to Postal Inspector Mike Sullivan, Charles Hattenbach, 39, and Kathryn Hubbert, 28, were arrested on March 11 in Temple after several weeks of surveillance.

Court records indicate Hattenbach and Hubbert started breaking into parcel and post office boxes at the end of December, but after Feb. 2, they allegedly started breaking into secured areas of post offices.

During the burglaries of nine area post offices, the suspects gained access to the safe and stole cash, postage, blank money orders and money order imprinters.

While most of the burglaries happened in Bell County, the suspects footprint spanned from Dallas to the north to Campbellton to the south and as far west as Midland and as far east as College Station.

Investigators started tracking Hattenbach and Hubbert after they were arrested on Jan. 31 by the Dallas Police Department during a routine traffic stop. During the stop, the officer found more than 400 pieces of U.S. mail, three crow bars and a knit full face mask within the vehicle. The suspects said they had no knowledge of the mail and were processed and released.

Nearly a month later, Postal Inspectors were given the clearance to put a GPS tracking device on the suspects’ truck.

The tracking device indicated the suspects’ truck was at the scene of several post offices that were broken into at the end of February and early March.

On March 9, the suspects targeted five USPS facilities in Austin and stole from the curbside mail bin as well as interior post office boxes.

On March 11, a federal search warrant was issued for the suspects’ home and inside investigators found hundreds of checks, money orders, W-2 forms and other financial documents.

Hattenbach and Hubbert are scheduled to be indicted on federal charges, ranging from conspiracy to theft of U.S. mail, on April 8 in Waco.

While these two suspects were purely targeting USPS locations, Sullivan says there have been 10 other arrests related to mail stolen from apartment complexes in the Austin area.

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