A Madera couple was arrested by Clovis police on Saturday night for mail theft after an attentive citizen called to report suspicious activity in his neighborhood.
Police said a resident in the area of Baron and Dakota avenues in Clovis – near Tarpey Village – saw an unfamiliar white Ford Explorer parked near a community mailbox around 9:30 p.m. The resident watched a man exit the vehicle and appeared to be tampering with the mailbox.
The resident followed the vehicle as it left the neighborhood and called police.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office’s helicopter, Eagle One, was in the area and helped Clovis police locate the vehicle near Clovis and Dakota avenues.
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Officers stopped the vehicle and found Tanya Barnes, 36, and John Holmes, 34, both from Madera, in it. They saw Barnes with several pieces of stolen mail on her lap.
Police were able to determine that the two suspects had been driving through the area and had broken into 19 community mailboxes, giving them access to the mail of over 100 residents.
Pry bars, mailbox keys, shaved vehicle keys and methamphetamine were also found in the suspects’ vehicle.
Barnes and Holmes were arrested for theft, vandalism, conspiracy, possession of burglar tools, possession of stolen property, possession of ID theft materials and possession of a controlled substance.