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A Determined Katy Business Owner, a Multi-Department Effort Results in Mail Thieves Arrest

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

August 3, 2023

By Natalie Cook Clark


A Katy business owner didn’t give up on protecting their mail after over a year of regular thefts. Their persistence led to a joint effort including the Harris County Constable’s Office and the US Postal Inspection Service that resulted in two arrests.


Mail thieves stealing from Katy mailboxes caught on camera.



A Katy Business Owner Didn’t Give Up the Fight to Protect Mail

A local business in the Provincial Professional Park has suffered mail theft on multiple occasions since March of 2022. Each time, the thieves were caught on camera and the business owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared videos with a postal inspector.




“We sent him videos every time the thieves came, and he always followed up on the information,” says the owner in praise of postal inspector.


The first time, they had checks and cash taken in the amount of $38,000. The HOA wouldn’t even alert other tenants to the problem until this owner’s sister wrote a letter herself. Even then it took another two months before the letter was sent out.


The business purchased three different brands of expensive cameras so they could make out the license plate of the thieves’ vehicles. However, authorities confirmed that stolen vehicles were being used making identification more difficult.


“In March of this year they started coming almost every Sunday and Monday morning targeting the people who would not retrieve their mail from Saturday’s delivery,” says the owner, growing more concerned not just about their mail but also the tenants.


The business owner says that the inspector followed up on every lead they provided and was able to get Harris County Constable Ted Heap’s Office to work with him directly to stake out the complex to catch them red handed.


Thieves Caught in the Act

Deputies from Constable Ted Heap's Strategic Response Unit worked together with partners from the US Postal Inspection Service. Their work resulted in the arrest of two suspects caught in the act of burglarizing a neighborhood cluster mailbox.



“They had the master key, which we knew all along,” says the owner.


This occurred Sunday night at the 21300 block of Provincial Boulevard, where the business park's cluster mailbox is. The deputies approached the suspects after they arrived and illegally opened the mailboxes.


They attempted to run from the scene but were caught after a brief chase and arrested.


The two suspects had several trash bags containing stolen mail in their possession, along with illegal narcotics and a firearm. The stolen mail was turned over to the U.S. Postal Inspector for further investigation.


Marquice Dale, 19, and Jeremiah Gamez, 18, are facing charges of mail theft and evading arrest. Dale also is charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon. Federal mail theft charges could be added as well.


The theft of or tampering with mail is considered a federal crime and those found guilty can receive up to 180 days in jail to 10 years in prison. Judges can also issue a fine from $4,000 to $10,000 and more if mail was stolen from the elderly or disabled.


Protect Your Mail

  • Mail theft does happen, but there are some steps Katy residents can take to protect their mail.

  • Find out when mail gets delivered and pick it up within the hour.

  • Have a neighbor pick up your mail if you’re unavailable.

  • Request a mail hold when going on vacation or ask a neighbor to collect it.

  • Arrange for a private box at the local post office.


“I want every business owner (or resident) and tenant in any of the apartment complexes or office parks to retrieve their mail every day-even on Saturday,” says the business owner who didn’t give up working with authorities to stop their business from being victimized. “The thieves have master keys. The keys fit every box-everywhere. The post office will never rekey or change the locks because it’s too expensive.”




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