Palo Alto police arrested a man and a woman Tuesday, June 7, for allegedly stealing mail from several residential mailboxes in Atherton and Menlo Park.
Police said an alert resident saw someone, who had been dropped off by a vehicle, checking mailboxes in the 400 block of Monroe Drive in Palo Alto. The resident was able to provide police with a description of the car, a white 1995 Nissan Pathfinder.
A patrol officer spotted the Pathfinder leaving the neighborhood and followed it until it stopped on Miller Avenue and San Antonio Road in Mountain View, police said. When the officer got out of his cruiser, however, the driver sped off, going east in the westbound lanes of San Antonio, before crossing back into the eastbound lane and continuing east, police said.
The officer found the car crashed into a concrete divider on the off-ramp from eastbound San Antonio to southbound Central Expressway, police said.
When the officer went over to investigate, two men and a woman ran from the car. Police chased the three and were able to apprehend the woman and a man, but the second man, the driver of the car, got away. Police conducted an area search with a dog but were unable to locate him.
Police searched the Pathfinder, which sustained moderate front-end damage from the collision, and found items that appeared to have been stolen from residential mailboxes in Atherton and Menlo Park. The woman had a driver's license that belonged to a woman from Menlo Park and a cellphone that belonged to a man from Redwood City, police said. The items, which were determined to be lost or stolen, were returned to their owners.
Yesenia Molina, 30, who has no permanent residence, and Luis Gregorio Calvillo, 46, of East Palo Alto, were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.
Ms. Molina, who is on active parole for threatening a witness with force or violence, initially lied to police about her identity, police said. She was booked on a felony parole violation, a misdemeanor possession of stolen property, misdemeanor providing a false identity to police, misdemeanor misappropriation of lost property and resisting arrest.
Mr. Calvillo, who is on active probation for grand theft in San Mateo County, was the owner of the Pathfinder and had in his possession a passport that belonged to a man from East Palo Alto, according to police. Officers were unable to contact the owner of the passport to determine if it was lost or stolen.
Mr. Calvillo was booked on a felony probation violation, misdemeanor mail theft, misdemeanor misappropriation of lost property and resisting arrest.
Police are investigating the case to identify and locate the second male suspect. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has been contacted and will conduct its own investigation into the mail thefts.
Police advise those who have been the victim of mail theft to contact local law enforcement.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police department at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.