Investigation of Post Office Burglary Moving Slowly

A Bakersfield man now serving jail time for possession of stolen property may be implicated in burglaries of the Pine Mountain Village Post Office. The facility was burgled on Halloween night and again a few weeks later in 2011.

“We have identified a possible suspect in identity theft for checks passed November 23 in Bakersfield at a Walmart and a Foods Co.,” Kern County Sheriff’s Sergeant Mark Brown said Tuesday, Jan. 17. Several fraudulent purchases were made at the end of 2011 using data and checks believed to have been stolen in the local post office burglaries.

“He was arrested on November 28. We have surveillance photos of the person passing the checks. He is in custody on another case involving possession of stolen property,” Brown said. Charges have not yet been filed for the post office burglary and the man’s name cannot be released. Brown said he expects the case “will be wrapped up in the next two to three weeks.”

U.S. Postal Inspection officers in San Francisco said Tuesday “the matter is still under investigation and letters have been sent to victims.” Pine Mountain Postmaster Bob Saberhagen said, “the wheels of government turn very slowly.” DNA evidence collected at the scene has not yet been compared to the suspect’s DNA. Sgt. Brown said it is likely that several people are involved in a burglary and identity fraud operation.

Meanwhile, Frazier Park Postmaster Kathy Gilbert said a bank of outdoor post boxes at the Tirol Drive location in Pine Mountain were broken into with a crowbar the night of January 12.

This is part of the January 20, 2012 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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