Three charged with theft, accused of breaking into mailboxes

Patrick Moffet, left, Jacob Lambert, center, and Courtney Mays (Austin Police photos)
Patrick Moffet, left, Jacob Lambert, center, and Courtney Mays (Austin Police photos)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police arrested three people Thursday on theft charges after recovering a large amount of stolen mail from southwest Austin. Around 100 people were impacted, potentially more, as the investigation remains ongoing.

Patrick Moffet, Jacob Lambert and Courtney Mayes are accused of hitting up 7-8 community style mailboxes. Police say the tip came in around 2:50 a.m. about people loading a truck with packages.

“The postal service delivers millions of checks, money orders, credit cards and other valuable items every day in this country,” Mike Sullivan, with the United States Postal Inspection Service said.

Those deliveries could wind up in the hands of thieves if you’re not careful. While tips like not leaving mail and packages unattended, avoiding sending cash by mail and holding your mail at the post office are nothing new, what some may not realize is you can change a U.S. Postal Service package’s address while it’s in transit. It’s called “package intercept” and redirects packages back to the sender, a new address, or the post office if you know you’re not going to be home for the delivery.

KXAN spoke with Amazon Locker customer Carlos Vega on the University of Texas campus. The service is just one of many methods available to help provide added security beyond the risk that can come with package drop offs, especially this time of year.

“If it’s something really expensive, then I pay for insurance and things like that,” Vega said, when not ordering from Amazon. “I have been lucky enough that nothing has been stolen thus far.”

APD is working with the U.S. Postal Service Inspector’s Office to file federal charges and identify other potential victims in the string of package thefts.