It is  unusual for a Los Angeles Private Investigators to be retained to find out who broke into a client’s US Post Office Box in Cabazon, California. Normally the United States Postal Inspector would investigate such a crime. The victims being our clients were husband and wife, showed us unauthorized charges adding up to thousands of dollars charged to their credit cards. Their end of the year 1099 forms were also taken, enabling the thieves to acquire their social security numbers that the thieves used to apply for more credit cards and the thieves directed the delivery of the credit cards to their own Post Office Boxes. Their local Sheriff was not making much progress, hence our services were requested.

A Very Organized Client 

Fortunately, the clients were well organized and had prepared a detailed accounting of the fraudulent charges, including the dates of the charges, the amount of the charges and where the credit cards were used. Our private detectives have conducted investigations relating to embezzlement and robbery all over the world. This particular investigation concerned us because it involved a robbery that occurred inside a United States Government Agency and we are not government agents, nor do we have the authority of government agents. Challenging, it certainly was. Our first objective was to visit the stores where the most recent fraudulent charges were made. We were concerned the managers of the stores would not allow us to view their video footage citing the privacy rights of their customers, not to mention the fact we had no search warrant. Upon explaining what happened to our clients, we were delighted when a manager allowed us to view the store’s video footage. The accounting system used by  this particular store was ideal; all the store manager needed was the name of the cardholder, the credit card number, the transaction date, and the amount of the sale. To our amazement, that information brought up a video of the moment the fraudulent cards were presented at the checkout counter. We were able to see three suspects presenting the stolen credit cards to the cashier as they went through the checkout counter. We also obtained video footage of the suspect’s license plate number as they pulled out of the parking lot.  Our investigators phoned in the plate number to our  office staff at Worldwide Intelligence Network, who in turn acquired the name of the registered owner. Addresses are not provided to anyone who is not law enforcement by California Law. Our staff then ran a locate investigation on the registered owner’s name, and they acquired an address for the suspect in Fontana, CA.  Our surveillance investigators were given photos of the three suspects and were assigned to surveil the address in Fontana. After two days of around the clock surveillance, none of the suspects were observed nor was the vehicle they were driving.

Next Step Meet With Law Enforcement 

Our next step was to go to the Fontana Police Department hoping they had the license plate on record in their database that could provide us with an address for the suspects. The  Fontana Detective after being shown the evidence, we had agreed to run the plate number. We got really lucky; a patrol officer stopped the suspect’s vehicle for a minor violation in Fontana. A citation was issued and of course it had the suspect’s address. The Detective could not lawfully give us the address but knowing we  now had a viable address, our next step was to meet with a United States Postal Inspector assigned to the San Bernardino County district office. The US Postal Inspector was very accommodating and most interested in what we had accomplished. She checked her databases and found that there had been multiple break-ins of US Post Offices Boxes throughout Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.  Multiple victims were involved and tens of thousands of dollars were charged to their stolen credit cards. Then the US Post Office Inspector ran the suspect’s name through NCIC, the National Criminal Information Center  We’ll never forget the expression on the US Postal Inspector’s face when the suspect’s name popped up on her computer screen. The suspect had just been paroled from a Federal prison for the exact same crime he committed upon our client and all of the other victims.

FBI- US Postal Inspector- the United States Assistant Attorney Joined the Investigation

A United States Assistant Attorney issued a Search warrant for the suspects’ address. A raid was initiated upon the suspects’ home by the FBI and US Postal Inspector. Once inside with the suspects were handcuffed and taken into custody, a treasure trove of merchandise purchased with the stolen credit cards was secured as evidence.

Suspects Identified  

As we already knew, the ring leader was recently paroled from a Federal Prison for the identical crime he committed against our client and dozens of other victims. His accomplices were his wife, adopted daughter, and his daughter’s heroin-addicted boyfriend. The entire gang was found guilty and sentenced to serve out their terms in a Federal Prison. Our client was delighted we solved the case. All in a day’s work, as they say.