LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Mail thieves were caught on camera stealing from one Lakewood neighborhood, and one neighbor caught them driving up and down the block hitting individual houses.
“It’s frustrating, you know, to see your stuff be taken away,” said Blake Patjens, who had his mail stolen on Thursday.
The bold thieves drove down Lakewood Boulevard Southwest in the middle of the afternoon, stealing people’s mail. More than a dozen mailboxes were hit on one block.
“Every single mailbox was wide open and the mail was wiped out,” said Patjens.
The security cameras on Patjens' home caught those thieves in action.
He said the light blue Ford Expedition came through the neighborhood just minutes after the postman, as they scoped things out.
It was just minutes after that when the thieves struck.
“They just circled the block and came back by, jumped out, look inside and grabs the mail, hops back into the truck and away they go,” added Patjens.
All the mailboxes on the block were left wide open.
“When you look down the street it was the same deal; every mailbox was wide open and then further to the east, those 8 mailboxes were wide open,” said Patjens.
Patjens filed a police report with Lakewood Police, who said unfortunately, mail theft is a pretty common crime that is widespread.
“It’s frustrating because they’re just going to go toss the mail if it’s meaningless to them. I mean I’d like to know what it was,” said Patjens.
Patjens said his block tends to be quiet and all the neighbors keep a lookout for each other.
“I just hope they get caught and they can pay my bills that are missing,” said Patjens.
He can joke about it now, but he still plans to replace his mailbox with a locking one and add more surveillance cameras to his property.