A 36-year-old Langley City woman is behind bars after police linked her to thousands of pieces of stolen mail, some coming from her own apartment complex.
Sarah Lea-Anne Arnet is charged with one count of identity theft. She will make her next appearance in Surrey Provincial Court on Thursday, March 12.
In the early part of February, a large amount of stolen mail was recovered from a storage locker in a Langley apartment complex.
The mail was discovered by the owner of the storage locker who recognized the significance of what he had found and called police. Langley RCMP estimate between 8,000 and 10,000 pieces of stolen mail were recovered.
Selected pieces of mail were examined by Forensic Identification Services and forensic evidence linking the mail to Arnet. The investigation disclosed Arnet, formerly of Kamloops, was, in fact, a tenant of the Langley City apartment complex.
The investigation continued for some time and police were able to obtain a search warrant for the Arnet’s apartment.
The warrant was executed on Thursday, March 5 and approximately 6,000 pieces of stolen mail, identity cards, credit cards, computers, cellphones and data storage devices were seized. The mail recovered belonged to people in jurisdictions all over the Lower Mainland as well as several cities in the interior of B.C.
Arnet has remained in custody since her arrest.
Arnet has several convictions in Kamloops where she lived before moving to Langley in around 2012 where she quickly started to steal and was given a conditional sentence for four counts of stolen property under $5,000 that year.
Mail theft continues to be a rampant problem throughout the suburbs of Metro Vancouver. Last year, Langley held the dubious distinction of mail theft capital of Canada, announced by Canada Post.
“In collaboration with Canada Post Postal inspectors, all police agencies continue to work collectively to tackle the problem of mail theft. Excellent analytical work, information sharing and evidence recovery all contribute to a solution. We cannot stress enough – the greatest solution to the problem is also the easiest to invoke. We need everyone to collect your mail daily. If it is not there, it cannot be stolen,” said Langley RCMP Supt. Murray Power. “The secondary fraud related offences are even more invasive and damaging to our citizens, so diligence is crucial and appreciated here.”