U.S. postal inspectors are investigating the theft of mail from a USPS vehicle in Berkeley on Tuesday afternoon, authorities report.
The theft took place in the area of Blake and Acton streets in southwest Berkeley at about 4:15 p.m.
Jeff Fitch, a postal inspector and department spokesman for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, said letters and parcels were taken from the carrier’s vehicle.
“We’re still trying to determine exactly what was taken,” Fitch said. “It’s too early in the investigation to say.”
Fitch said authorities would be sending a letter to people on the carrier’s route who might have been impacted to let them know the vehicle had been burglarized.
He said anyone who believes their mail might have been stolen Tuesday can call 877-876-2455 or make a report online.
Mail theft is a federal offense that can result in up to five years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000.
“Whether it’s breaking into a vehicle or breaking into a mailbox,” Fitch said, “the penalty is the same.”
Fitch advised people in the neighborhood to watch their credit card and bank statements closely in the next month or so for unfamiliar charges for transactions they did not make.
There is also a standing reward of up to $10,000, he said, for information leading to an arrest and conviction in a mail theft case.