Last year, U.S. Postal Service inspectors from around the country came to the Central Valley to help local police investigate an upswing in mail theft. Investigators say mail theft and drug abuse usually go hand-in-hand.
“I used to have a saying that I think still holds true that ‘where there’s meth, there’s mail,” says Greg Campbell with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “There is a correlation between those who are on substance abuse and going out to do things to accommodate their habit.”
So far, “Operation Broken Mailbox” has netted more than 20 arrests and nine federal prison sentences. Law enforcement officials say local victims have lost about $400,000 over the last year because of identity theft, stolen checks and stolen mail-order prescription drugs.
Officials say the increased postal service investigations will continue for now.
A measure on the California November ballot would reduce some drug possession and theft-related felony crimes to misdemeanors. Proponents say it would reduce prison overcrowding and prison costs. Opponents say it would put dangerous criminals back on the streets and overcrowd local jails.
Stockton Police are looking to question a man who might have dropped off the gunmen in the Bank of the West robbery and shootout in July.
After a dramatic drop in Stockton's homicide rate over the last couple of years, the violent death numbers are going back up again.
The City of Sacramento Police Department says the crime rate has dropped significantly for the second year in a row. The police chief credits more community involvement.
Hit-and-run collisions could soon trigger a community alert to track down the fleeing drivers, under a bill now in the California legislature.