Two people have been arrested in connection to a flurry of mailbox vandalism reports in the unincorporated Green Point area of east Novato, according to the Marin County Sheriff's Department.
A 38-year-old Vallejo man and a 40-year-old Hercules woman are in custody and facing felony charges following about three weeks of steady reports of mail thefts and residential burglaries in the area, Lt. Barry Heying said Tuesday.
About two dozen mailboxes on H Lane, Atherton Avenue, School Road and Crest Road were emptied and the boxes were scattered on the roadways on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, Heying said. The content losses were undetermined.
On Oct. 3, deputies patrolling the area found a vehicle registration slip for a car that had been reported stolen to Vallejo police earlier that evening. Heying said stolen cars are often used in the act of other crimes. Also, a homeowner in the Crest Road area captured video images of the same car that night with two people inside, and that car was found abandoned in Marinwood with some stolen mail inside the next day, Heying said.
Just after midnight Tuesday morning, a deputy participating in the increased neighborhood patrol spotted a 2008 gray Dodge Charger in the 200 block of Crest Road that was registered to an address in Hercules. A man and woman were inside the car ducking down in an apparent attempt to elude the deputy, Heying said.
The deputy made contact with the car's occupants and conducted a search, resulting in stolen mail from Novato and Vallejo addresses along with bolt cutters, wire cutters and car keys that had been shaved down in a manner commonly used by car thieves, Heying said.
The man, who said he was visiting from New York, provided a name to the deputy that turned out to be false, and the pair gave conflicting accounts as to why they were in the Green Point area, according to Heying.
Nearby residents were contacted about missing mail and several people confirmed it had been stolen.
Troy Gabriel Brown of Vallejo faces charges or possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, criminal conspiracy, giving false ID and violation of probation. Simone Aguilar of Hercules faces identical charges except for the probation violation.
Heying said there were at least 10 mail theft victims and two cases of burglaries in the area, with the most recent reported Oct. 22. The investigation is continuing. Anyone with additional information is invited to call 473-7233 or leave an anonymous tip with Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.