Coquitlam RCMP say they have arrested two Surrey residents following an investigation into “prolific mail thieves that have been working the area for months.”
A 49-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman, both Surrey residents, are facing multiple charges after a combined Coquitlam RCMP-Canada Post investigation, according to a news release from Coquitlam RCMP on Thursday (Nov. 8).
Police said Heine Hut and Charlene Saar were both arrested at Hut’s home in Surrey.
Hut, RCMP said, is “well-known to police” and is facing the following charges: two counts of mail theft, one count of unlawful use of a mail key, one count of possession of stolen mail and two counts of possession of a stolen credit card.
Saar, according to police, is facing the following charges: one count of mail theft, one count of possession of stolen mail, one count of unlawful use of a mail key and two counts of a possession of a stolen credit card.
Coquitlam RCMP Corporal Michael McLaughlin said it was an “effective inter-agency project” and Canadian Postal Inspectors provided “crucial expertise.”
“Once a primary suspect was identified, the Coquitlam RCMP Prolific Target Team made the arrests and then used search warrants to gather a large amount of evidence. The suspects are believed to be responsible for a large number of identity and mail theft over an extended period,” McLaughlin said.
Coquitlam RCMP said mail theft is a common complaint. RCMP also said the following tips from postal inspectors and law enforcement can help secure mail and protect people’s identities:
- Collect mail daily
- If you’ll be away, use Canada Post’s “hold mail” service to suspend delivery until you return
- When you move, file a change of address with Canada Post and advise your banks and other companies of the move
If people have concerns about their mail, or if they believe any mail has not been delivered, contact mailers to ensure they have the correct mailing address, report it to Canada Post Customer Service, 1-800-267-1177, and report suspicious activities to local police.