A former U.S. Postal Service employee who recently resigned from her post in Yonkers is among two who local residents who have been arrested in connection to mail theft in the area.
Following the recent rash of recently reported stolen mail in the region - which has led to multiple arrests in multiple cases in Westchester - Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and Police Commissioner Charles Gardner announced the arrest of two School Street residents who are facing multiple charges for their alleged role in mail theft.
In recent weeks, police in Yonkers have received reports of more than 80 reported incidents of theft in the city and nearly $700,000 that were withdrawn from bank accounts belonging to local residents this year alone.
On Friday, Gardner announced the arrest of former USPS employee Lorell Lee LeGrand, 30, who worked for the postal service for nearly a year and was assigned to a pair of local post offices before resigning within the past few weeks. They also announced the arrest of Shaquille Wiltshire, 22, who was arrested by the NYPD after allegedly being busted with washed checks on May 18.
LeGrand’s stations included the post offices on South Broadway and Yonkers Avenue. Police said that LeGrand “was actively involved with a group of individuals who targeted mail sent through the USPS system; it is likely that the mail thefts occurred at the mailbox level, however Yonkers Police and Postal Inspectors are working to identify the exact point of interception.
The two suspects are believed to be working with a larger group of people who have been stealing mail throughout southern Westchester, police noted.
Mail theft has become a recurring problem in the Hudson Valley, with more than a dozen municipalities in the region reporting incidents, including several that were caught on camera. Most recently, Bronxville announced the arrests of eight alleged thieves - all from the Bronx - who were busted following a weeks-long investigation.
“Mail theft throughout Westchester County and, specifically, here in Yonkers has reached epidemic proportions,” Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. stated. “We know police are working hard to combat the criminals who are affecting the lives of so many of our residents. We commend Yonkers Police and the United States Postal Inspection Service for their collaboration in bringing this suspect to justice and continuing efforts to stop this crime wave.”
LeGrand has been charged with one count of fourth-degree grand larceny and three counts of second-degree identity theft, all felonies. She remains remanded at the Westchester County Jail in lieu of $35,000 cash bail or bond. She is due back in court on June 25 to answer the charges. Wiltshire is facing multiple felonies and misdemeanors in Manhattan.
“These arrests reflect the unwavering commitment and collaborative efforts of the Yonkers Police Department and our law enforcement partners in apprehending the perpetrators responsible for violating the personal and financial security of our residents,” Gardner said. “Our message is clear – if you steal mail in the City of Yonkers, we will find you, arrest you, and deliver you into the Criminal Justice System”
In response to the recent rash of thefts, the USPS announced that by the end of June, they will have completed security upgrades at mailboxes throughout the city.
“The arrest of these individuals reflect the continued efforts of Postal Inspectors and their law enforcement partners to safeguard the U.S. Mail for our Postal Service customers and employees,” USPS Inspector-in-Charge Peter Rendina said in a statement. “It is rewarding to see the Postal Inspection Service’s multi-layered approach of hardening collection boxes from theft; providing prevention tips to the consumer and arresting criminals resulted in fewer larcenies from mailboxes in recent weeks.”
Gardner noted that the investigation is ongoing, and more arrests are expected to be made.
“A postal service worker going postal on our postal system is something that is certainly not being tolerated here or anywhere in this community,” Spano said. “We’re going to continue to find those responsible and make sure that if they’ve done this type of crime they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
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