Dayton man arrested after another Kettering post office mail theft

A Dayton man was in custody Monday afternoon in connection with a Kettering post office mail theft, the latest arrest in local federal postal crimes.

Juan T. Harris, 27, was in the Kettering Jail on a felony charge of receiving stolen property after an early Sunday morning crime at the 1490 Forrer Blvd. post office, records show.

Credit: Kettering Jail

Credit: Kettering Jail

Harris is among no fewer than seven arrested for mail thefts in Kettering since May, when a series of crimes were reported involving stolen checks at postal service outdoor mailboxes in Beavercreek, Dayton, Kettering and Washington Twp., authorities said.

The May arrests came after a Dayton postal service manager told authorities a key that unlocks “all Dayton-area mailboxes” was stolen, police records show. Police have encouraged customers only to use secure mail drop locations inside post office buildings.

Four were charged after the Forrer post office was hit May 19, when police said they believe a stolen key was used. Two other mail theft suspects were arrested about a week later, Kettering detective Vince Mason said Monday.

Those six cases are being overseen by the postal inspector, who likely will handle the one involving Harris as well, Mason said.

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Postal Inspector Spokeswoman Nicole Lutz said in an email Monday she “can’t comment on any court status of the defendants” in previous cases.

Outdoor drop boxes typically are not monitored by cameras, according to the authorities.

Thousands of dollars in business and personal checks have been reported stolen from outdoor post office mailboxes to law enforcement officers in Montgomery County, Kettering and Riverside this year, officials have said.

“We are currently working with Kettering (police) and other local law enforcement partners to follow up leads that have been identified” in this past weekend’s crime, Lutz said. “The investigation is still active and ongoing and I can’t comment on specifics of that investigation,” she added.

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The postal service continues to encourage people to contact USPIS directly if they feel they have been victimized or have information to share at the 24/7 hotline 877-876-2455 or email CFOMT@uspis.gov

Harris was arrested on Marsha Lane in Dayton more than four hours after Kettering police responded to the Forrer post office about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, records state.

More than four pages of the incident report involving the crime and the arrest of Harris are redacted, but jail records indicate he was booked on a fifth-degree felony.

When asked about the dollar amount involved, Kettering police spokesman Tyler Johnson said in an email that “the checks that were stolen were written for various amounts but have no value outside the paper they are printed on until the checks are either deposited or washed and changed then deposited.”

The case involving Harris was not among those listed on the Kettering or Montgomery County court dockets Monday afternoon.

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