MIAMI, Fla. – It's a theft story that provides a reminder of how important it is to make sure your outgoing mail is kept in a secure place. A man is caught on camera opening a panel of mailboxes and removing mail. He is not a postal carrier. Inspectors say Migueol Cadierno found a way to gain access to the boxes and day after day stole the mail. There were several victims, but one story is heartbreaking.
"I was without money – negative, my lights were shut off, no rent – nothing. Nothing. Nobody would help. Nobody would listen," said victim Sandra Dee Brown.
The mother of two says Cadierno used her mail to obtain her personal information. With that, he was able to steal money from her bank accounts. He also stole money orders sent to her by family members. She complained to authorities.
"Unfortunately, no one believed me. You know it's a master key to open
up the mail boxes and everyone said it is impossible. Unfortunately, I thought everyone saw me as a liar. Meanwhile, I had no money, they kept texting me, telling me I was overdrawn," she explained.
Brown was desperate and along with postal inspectors, set up a video sting operation.
"One day the post lady comes with the master key opens up the back puts all the mail in, locks it up. A minute goes by, a man comes in with a master key and takes all of the mail," Brown explained.
Brown finally had proof that she was not a liar and that her mail was being stolen from her apartment building mailroom. The
suspect in this case was sentenced to a year in prison and three years probation. He was also ordered to pay almost $10,000 in restitution.
Postal inspectors strongly suggest always secure your outgoing mail.
"One of the things we don't recommend is you put any outgoing mail in your home panel box or your residential box. Always visit a blue collection box or go visit your post office," warned U.S. Postal Inspector Ivan Ramirez.