SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Home surveillance cameras captured two women stealing mail right out people’s mailboxes in a Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood this week.
While the women were captured on surveillance cameras, one resident was able to capture the pair on a cellphone – in one instance one of the women making an obscene gesture.
The thieves can be seen on video nonchalantly opening mailboxes, stuffing mail in a bag and walking away.
“It was really disconcerting to see them stealing your personal stuff – it’s like walking into your front door,” said Gwen Gordon, who had her mail stolen.
Gwen told News 8 the incident took place Monday, the day she was expecting a check in the mail. “I actually had to have a check canceled,” she said.
As news spread of the thefts, the postal inspector contacted another Rancho Penasquitos’ resident, Nina Krosch, to check her cameras.
“I actually got a call from the postal inspector on my business like. I was like what is this? Is this a prank call? They were so casual about it, it was actually surprised,” she said.
By Wednesday, neighbors believe the same women returned and stole from mailboxes on Texana Street and Iscoma Street.
This time, area resident Suzy Taylor was ready.
“For me it was disturbing it happened in my front yard. You definitely know when something is not right,” she said.
Suzy used her cellphone to capture the women the thieves in the act.
“It’s better to be citizens that report the crimes and try to help prevent them,” she said.
Suzy captured the suspected mail thieves take off in a black sun damaged Honda Accord. One of the word making an obscene hand gesture as they drove away.
“My goal is just to get the message out that you have to protect yourself. Get a locking mailbox in this neighborhood,” said Suzy.
Previously, Suzy and Gwen had been victims of fraud and since then the pair each got locked mailboxes.
The pair is now working to protect their neighbors.
“It’s good to know that your neighbors are watching out for you,” said Gordon.
Mail theft is a federal offense and if convicted carries a five years in prison sentenced and a $250,000 fine.