RIVERSIDE – A 38-year-old Riverside man was arrested for mail theft on Friday morning. The investigation began when authorities became aware of the theft of mail that was captured on video. The video clearly showed the license plate of the suspect vehicle, a gray Nissan Versa. The registered owner, Richard Vern Smith, of Riverside, appeared to be the same person on the video. Smith was learned to be on active probation for an unrelated conviction.
On Friday, March 10, 2017, the suspect vehicle was located at a home in the 10000 block of Yellow Brick Road. A probation search was conducted, during which time the suspect was detained. During the search several bags of mail were located. Also located was several items purchased with the identity and credit information taken from the stolen mail. The items located estimated $5000 value. Smith was arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for mail and identity theft, fraud, possession of stolen property, theft with priors, and probation violations.
Detectives will work with the United States Postal Inspector to determine additional victims and make efforts to return stolen mail back to its owners. If anyone has information regarding this investigation, please contact Detective Andy Cook at (951) 353-7593 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Richard-vern-smith: Photos courtesy of Riverside Police Department