KETTERING — Three people were arrested over the weekend in connection to suspected mail thefts in Kettering.
Kettering officers initiated a traffic stop on a suspicious vehicle leaving the parking lot of the post office at 1490 Forrer Blvd. jut after midnight on Saturday.
A Kettering officer was conducting an extra check on the post office on Forrer Blvd. that night. The officer referenced the numerous thefts that have happened at the outdoor drop boxes at the location on recent months in a police report.
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The officer saw a Chevrolet Malibu enter the post office’s parking lot and go back by the drop doxes.
“It appeared that they were attempting to get into the mailboxes at the Forrer [Blvd.] location, saw the officer and decided it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to do it right in front of them,” Officer Tyler Johnson, Public Information Officer for Kettering Police, said.
The officer followed the car and then conducted a traffic stop for an expired registration, according to a police report.
Harnish, 20, had two passengers in his car, Terrell Rose, 21, and a 15-year-old male. Harnish told police he missed his turn to go home and that they were turning around in the parking lot.
The officer asked if Harnish had a mailbox key and if they could search the car. They all exited the car and Harnish allowed police conduct a search.
Several pieces of mail, including cash and checks, were found in the vehicle. Police records indicated that they were suspected to be have been stolen. A bottle containing marijuana was also found under a seat. according to a police report.
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Police told News Center 7 that they have not been able to recover a post office key linked to this incident.
Police arrested Harnish, Rose and the teen for receiving stolen property. Jail records showed that Harnish was also arrested on theft.
All three people were released on their own recognizance, according to Johnson.
Johnson said the detective section will work with the postal inspector’s office to determine if they will file local or federal charges against the three people arrested Saturday.
When asked about this incident, police said the drop boxes were not damaged and they did not think the suspects broke into the post office to steal mail.
Johnson told News Center 7 that police believe the suspects had stolen mail from the post office on Stroop Road prior to arriving at the Forrer Blvd. location.
This year, police said the Forrer Blvd. post office has been targeted by mail thieves at least five times. In the past year, Johnson said there were 12 reports of someone removing the mail from the boxes.
Kettering Police also told News Center 7 that they have arrested eight people this year in connection to mail thefts.
Johnson urged people to not use the drop boxes “at all costs.”
“We just urge everybody, if you’ve got to mail checks and cash, or really anything, to not use those drop boxes,” Johnson said.
A postal worker was robbed at gunpoint in Dayton last month. Johnson said Kettering Police were not part of the investigation and nothing has led them to believe this incident was connected.
We’ll update this story as we learn more.
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