Mail thief busted at PDX airport facility

It’s astounding how much loot he accumulated! Even more astounding – a judge set him free, soon after his arrest …

Behind the Airport Post office, at the USPS Northeast Portland Processing and Distribution Center at PDX in outer East Portland, a suspect is accused of stealing new cellular phones coming into the postal facility.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After buyers reported that they weren’t receiving new cellphones they’d ordered by mail, officials began looking into employees at the US Postal Service Northeast Portland Processing and Distribution Center, located at Portland International Airport in early October.

“Special Agents from the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General contacted the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Detective Coordination Team, and reported that an employee was suspected of stealing new phones out of their boxes,” reported PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Brad Yakots.

Apparently the alleged phone heist wasn’t one or two cell phones, the suspect is accused of stealing more than a dozen of them.

By mid October, law enforcement officers believed they’d identified their suspect.

“On October 16, 23-year-old Rico Manuel Alvarez was stopped as he left the mail facility,” Yakots said. “During the contact, nineteen stolen phones were found, with a value of over $13,000.”

Even after being charged with 20 Felonies, 23-year-old Rico Manuel Alvarez walked free on the day after his arrest; hopefully, he’ll return to court to face the charges. MCDC booking photo

Later that day, Alvarez was arrested, and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 10:26 p.m., on one count of Aggravated Theft in the First Degree (a Class B Felony), and nineteen counts of Mail Theft (all Class C Felonies).

At his arraignment the following day, Alvarez, caught a break for his 20 Felony charges: A judge set him free, without bail. Stated “Release reason: Released on Own Recognizance.”

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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