News Story

 

Identity & Mail Theft / Ojai Station
9/21/2016 3:00:00 PM

 

Nature of Incident:

Identity & Mail Theft  

 

Report Number:

RB #16-0111717

Location:

500 Block of Buckboard Lane

Ojai, Ca 93023

Date & Time:

07/05/2016 9:42 AM

Unit(s) Responsible:

Ojai Station Detectives & Ojai Patrol

 

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (Party), (D)ecedent

City of Residence

Age

(S) DeGrande, Jacob  

Ventura (Transient)

46 yrs

Narrative:

During the month of July, 2016, a resident residing in the city of Ojai reported to have been a victim of mail theft.  This victim subsequently discovered four separate personal checks had been stolen from his residential mail box. These checks were later forged and cashed at various retail stores located in the cities of Thousand Oaks, Ojai, Ventura, and Oxnard.

 

Detectives from the Ojai Station began investigating this crime.  Video surveillance footage was obtained from several retail stores which showed a suspect seen making these fraudulent transactions at various retails stores throughout Ventura County. 

 

On 08/02/2016, Ojai deputies working patrol contacted a suspicious person in the parking lot of a local hotel within the city of Ojai.  The deputies immediately recognized the person as the same suspect seen on the video surveillance footage making the fraudulent transactions.    

 

The suspect was positively identified as Jacob DeGrande.  This investigation revealed DeGrande was also in possession of several hundred pieces of stolen mail, checks, and material to reproduce checks including a portable photocopier and blank check paper.  DeGrande was arrested for theft of mail, numerous counts of identity theft, and under the influence of a controlled substance.  He was booked into the Ventura County Main Jail where he remains with a bail set at $80,000.00. 

 

Ojai Detectives conducted an extensive follow-up investigation which led to the exposure of numerous citizens being victimized by DeGrande for identity theft.  These victims are residents from within the cities of Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Fillmore, Santa Paula, Ojai, and Thousand Oaks.  This led to numerous identity theft enhancement charges added to DeGrande's extensive criminal charges.

 

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office would like to remind citizens to be aware of loose mail placed in unlocked mail boxes and theft of mail left in unlocked mail boxes for extended time periods.  Please remember that Postal Inspectors across the country work hard to protect your mail. But with deliveries to more than 100 million addresses, the Postal Inspection Service can't do the job alone.  You can protect your mail from thieves by remembering to pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don't leave it in your mailbox overnight. If you're expecting checks, credit cards, or other negotiable items, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail.  This diligence will assist in the prevention of becoming a victim of identity theft. 

 

If you see or suspect a mail thief at work, or if you believe your mail was stolen, call police immediately 9-1-1, then call Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455 and (press 3) or visit the below link.

https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/investigations/mailfraud/fraudschemes/mailtheft/tipthieves.aspx

 

Prepared by:

Detective Hollowell

 

News Release Date:

09/21/2016

 

Media Follow-Up Contact:

Detective Hollowell 805-477-7042

 

Approved by:

Sergeant Ferguson

 

 







Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).