Two Stockton men are facing a parcel of criminal charges after they were caught by Turlock Police officers with more than 400 pieces of stolen mail.
The capture of the two suspects was put into motion thanks to an eagle-eyed witness, the police department stated.
The witness was at the Park Knolls Apartment complex at 1100 Pedras Road and saw that the community mailbox had been broken into. The witness also saw a vehicle leaving the apartment complex at a high rate of speed and called the police department to report the incident at 8:47 a.m. Tuesday.
The witness was able to provide the police dispatchers with a detailed description of the vehicle, the driver and his passenger.
Turlock Police Officer Martin Marquez was en route to the apartment complex when he spotted the vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop.
The driver, later identified as Michael Mascarenas, 25, of Stockton, failed to stop and sped off instead, said Turlock Police spokeswoman Dominique Sanchez.
A pursuit followed with multiple officers joining in the chase. It came to an end when the vehicle became inoperable after Mascarenas took it off the highway in a botched attempt to evade the pursuing officers.
Mascarenas and his passenger, Angel Galvan, 20, of Stockton both ran from the vehicle but were quickly apprehended by officers.
During an inventory search of the vehicle, officers discovered a large amount of Turlock mail in their possession. Over 400 pieces of mail to be exact, Sanchez said.
Galvan was on probation for theft and Mascarenas had four warrants, one of which was for theft. Mascarenas was arrested and booked for evading, resisting arrest, possession of stolen mail, identity theft, and warrants. Galvan was arrested and booked for resisting arrest and possession of stolen property. Additional charges for both will likely be forthcoming, Sanchez said.
Detectives are assisting with the processing of mail and will be contacting the mail recipients to retrieve their mail.
The Turlock Police Department reminds people to check their mailboxes frequently and if they have experienced a mail theft to monitor their credit report for any suspicious and fraudulent activities.
The United States Postal Service offers a service called Informed Delivery. By signing up for Informed Delivery a person will be able to see scanned images of mail that is planned for delivery at their address, to know what to expect before it arrives or to know what is missing if the mailbox is broken into. To learn more about Informed Delivery or to sign up, go here: https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action
If your mail has been stolen or your community mail box has been tampered with, contact the Turlock Police Department at (209) 668-1200 and the USPS Postal Inspectors (1-877-976-2455) to make a report. Reports for TPD can also be made online at: https://ci.turlock.ca.us/policedepartment/crime/reportacrime/.