Photo: Jose Manuel Jimenez and Renee Marie Paredes
No childish plaything, a dog leash attached to glue rat traps has landed two Santa Ana suspected thieves in jail. A Santa Ana Parking Control officer observed the usage of the DIY phishing device in the stealing of US postal mail on December 20.
Southern California law enforcement bureaus have been consistent in communicating to the public this holiday season to be prompt and alert in the receipt at home of letters and packages, in order to preclude mail theft. In the case of this December 20 mail theft, however, the thieves were accessing a blue, official USPS collection box near to the intersection of North Main Street and East Washington Avenue in Santa Ana.
The Santa Ana Parking Control officer who observed the incident saw a suspicious male place a red cord into the USPS mailbox and remove several pieces of post, after which he ran to and entered a pickup truck driven by a female suspect.
Alerted by the Parking Control officer and kept abreast of the suspects’ position, Santa Ana police officers were able to locate and stop the getaway car. Officials arrested the male suspect, identified as Jose Manuel Jimenez , aged 39 and of Santa Ana, for possession of stolen US mail and possession of phishing tools (the sticky rat traps connected to a dog leash). The female suspect, identified as Renee Marie Paredes, aged 49 and of Santa Ana, initially provided police with false information; investigation disclosed that she had outstanding warrants.
Both Jimenez and Paredes were arrested and taken to Santa Ana Jail for booking. Police said that the duo likely had been planning to continue with the mailbox thieving. Local media reported that, per Orange County booking records, Paredes’s bail had been set at $430,000, while Jimenez’s bail had been set at $20,000 pending his first court appearance.