TACOMA (CN) – Federal prosecutors say three people stole holiday packages from porches and mailboxes, calling it “Christmas shopping,” then wrapped the stolen loot, including toys, Nordstrom merchandise, books and a Target gift card, and put it under their own Christmas tree. They were arrested on Christmas Eve.
Jason and Jolynn May, a married couple, and Mychal Lecouris were charged with mail theft after Vancouver police and U.S. postal inspectors out the Mays’ home under surveillance, according to charging documents filed in Federal Court.
A witness saw a man “tinkering with the doors” on a neighborhood’s community mailbox and gave police the license plate number of the car, which was traced back to Jolynn May, according to the criminal complaint.
“On Christmas Eve, the Mays and Lecouris arrived at the apartment with multiple opened packages and packing material in their car. A search of the apartment and the car turned up new merchandise and toys which appeared to have been stolen from various addresses. Some of the merchandise had been wrapped and placed under the Mays’ Christmas tree,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
“Mychal Lecouris admitted he had been with Jason May and Jolynn May on several occasions when they stole items from mailboxes and porches. Mychal Lecouris stated that when he visited Jason May and Jolynn May on December 24, 2010, they told him they were going ‘Christmas shopping,’ which Lecouris knew was a reference to driving around and stealing mail. Lecouris admitted he and Jason May and Jolynn May drove through neighborhoods looking for packages in doorways and mail parcel boxes missing the parcel key. Mychal Lecouris stated the missing parcel key was an indication that a package was inside the parcel box and the parcel key had been placed inside a personal mail box slot. Mychal Lecouris stated both Jason May and Jolynn May were involved in identifying targets, and Jason May would exit the vehicle, grab the target item, or use vise grips which Jason May kept in the passenger door pocket to break the parcel box lock and take the contents,” the complaint states.
“Mychal Lecouris stated Jason May opened the stolen packages, placed the contents in the rear seat pocket or handed the stolen packages to Mychal Lecouris, and threw the boxes out of the vehicle window. Mychal Lecouris admitted he exited the Volkswagen Jetta and stole one package because Jason May had too many items on his lap and asked Mychal Lecouris to grab the package. Mychal Lecouris admitted that he, Jason May, and Jolynn May stole so many packages during the evening that at one point they stopped the vehicle and placed many of the stolen items inside the trunk of the vehicle,” according to the complaint.
Prosecutors say the theft spree went on for a month. If convicted of mail theft, the three could face up to 5 years in prison and $250,000 fines.