Mail thief arrested and charged for stealing postal vans and mail - including in Lake Forest Park

Friday, June 2, 2023

With a key, cluster mailboxes can be opened from the back,
for access to every box. 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) for western Washington announced that Johny Mixayboua, 27, has been arrested on a federal complaint charging him with theft of mail and possession of stolen mail.

Mixayboua is accused of a string of mail theft incidents involving stolen postal vehicles, stolen postal keys, mail theft, and associated crimes such as identity theft.

According to the criminal complaint, on December 28, 2022, a U.S. Postal Service vehicle was stolen from the 6300 block of South Bangor Street in Seattle. 

In the vehicle was a postal key that is used to access the cluster mailbox units in the 98178 zip code and apparently worked in other zip codes as well. The key allows the postal worker to open the back of the cluster box to deliver mail to multiple households. 

Since the theft of the vehicle and postal key, there have been numerous reports of mail stolen from cluster boxes in zip code 98178.

Working with neighbors, the Postal Inspection Service was able to get door camera footage showing the person accessing the postal boxes. Neighbors reported credit cards being stolen and attempts being made to use them. Inspectors were able to review images from when the credit card attempts occurred and ultimately identified Mixayboua as the person stealing the mail and attempting to use the stolen credit cards.

Additionally, local law enforcement determined that vehicles used in a number of the mail theft incidents were reported stolen.

On January 17, 2023, two more Postal Service vehicles were stolen, both in the 98116 ZIP code area of Seattle.

Using doorbell camera footage from the block where one of the vehicles was recovered, investigators allegedly saw Mixayboua removing mail and parcels from the stolen postal vehicle and putting them in another vehicle. Again, law enforcement traced credit cards stolen from the mail and obtained surveillance footage that appears to show Mixayboua attempting to make purchases with the credit cards.

On January 30, 2023, a fourth postal vehicle was stolen – this time from the 2000 block of S. Columbian Way in Seattle. On March 28, 2023, a fifth postal vehicle was stolen from the 5700 block of S. 129th Ave. One of the people associated with the theft matches a description of Mixayboua.

In late January and February, the mail theft incidents continued -- this time in the Snoqualmie, Washington area. The cluster boxes were opened with either a counterfeit or authentic postal key. Again, credit cards were stolen, and one was linked to images of Mixayboua making purchases at Target.

Throughout April, mail thefts continued from as far north as Lake Forest Park, and as far south as southeast Seattle. 

Lake Forest Park has 21 cases of mail theft from locking mail boxes in and around several apartment complexes in the city.

The postal service halted deliveries in zip code 98118 for about a week while investigators worked to track down and arrest Mixayboua.

Through a lengthy investigation, which included working with the postal inspector, it was determined that the suspect likely had access to the master post office keys for the banks of mailboxes in Lake Forest Park.

The LFP PD investigations unit is working with the postal inspector in order to aggregate LFP cases with cases from surrounding agencies. In several instances fingerprints were lifted and are currently being processed at AFIS.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) has worked diligently to get Mixayboua and his co conspirators into custody.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elyne Vaught.


Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 2:55 PM  

In that type of cluster box (CBU) the lock is on the front of the box, not the back. It's right under the out-going mail slot, next to the yellow sticker.

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