Deputies turn investgation over to postal inspectors

If you paid your bills by mail this week, your payment have been stolen.

The Kern County Sheriff's substation received word that a large number of open mail was found outside Tina's Diner in Maricopa Wednesday morning, and it is believed the mail was stolen out of a mail drop box in Taft.

Sgt. Martin Downs said the deputies found 25 open envelopes in Maricopa Wednesday morning, and it was apparent that the envelopes contained payments when they were opened.

The investigation has since been turned over to United States Postal Service postal inspectors, Downs said.

Residue on the envelopes indicated the thieves probably used some sort of sticky substance lowered into the mailbox to fish out envelopes, Downs said. Checks and money orders were removed, but remittance slips indicate they contained payments.
Evidence indicates the mail was from Taft, he said.

The opened envelopes was apparently dropped off late Tuesday or early Wednesday.