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Woodbury police: Prime mail theft suspect under arrest

A man suspected in dozens of mail theft incidents around Woodbury and Oakdale is in police custody.

The suspect, a 20-year-old St. Paul man, was arrested late Sunday in St. Anthony following a traffic stop, said Woodbury Police Commander Jay Alberio. The man, whose name was not immediately released by authorities, was allegedly found in possession with "a large quantity of mail" - including some from Woodbury - inside his car, Alberio said.

Authorities had been alerted to the suspect's description. Alberio said the man was placed under arrest after the St. Anthony officer made the match during the traffic stop.

The man is being held in Hennepin County jail and was expected to be questioned today by a postal investigator. Alberio said the suspect could be charged in Hennepin County with possession of stolen mail, but any local charges would likely require an admission to the thefts in Woodbury and Oakdale.

Alberio said the man was suspected in at least 40 mail-theft cases locally.

The news came on the heels of a Friday arrest involving four people stopped in Woodbury after residents reported seeing people from a van stealing mail.

Those suspects were arrested near Bailey Road and Woodlane Drive. Alberio said the four suspects in that case were not believed to be as prolific in mail theft as the 20-year-old.

Alberio said it did not appear the group of four was working in concert with the man arrested Sunday, but he did say the arrests are encouraging.

"We believe with the arrest of the five individuals that ... I think we're going to see a significant reduction in the theft of mail," Alberio said. "Hopefully it's going to make an impact."

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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