Darien Police make arrests in post office mail thefts

Jeramy Valdez, left, and Carlos Artiles were recently arrested by the Darien Police for alleged mail theft.
Jeramy Valdez, left, and Carlos Artiles were recently arrested by the Darien Police for alleged mail theft.

Two New Jersey residents and one Pennsylvania resident were arrested by Darien Police for alleged mail theft. A Darien Police officer, on heightened alert due to recent incidents, was patrolling the area of the Corbin Drive Post Office at approximately 3 a.m. on Jan. 31. The officer observed a black Toyota Corolla bearing New Jersey license plates driving extremely slowly on Corbin Drive. When the vehicle neared the marked police car, it stopped suddenly and put its blinker on. Given the large number of recent mail thefts, the suspicious operation of the vehicle, and the time of night, the officer conducted an investigatory motor vehicle stop.

The officer made contact with driver later identified as Jeramy Valdez. Also in the vehicle were two additional men, later identified as Carlos Artiles and Yimmy Javier. In plain sight on the rear seat Darien Police said the officer observed several unopened articles of mail with the return address of “Stamford Superior Court.” It appeared that there were additional mail items that were being concealed with clothing in the back seat, police said. When asked where they were going, the males stated they had been in Norwalk and were going home to Patterson, New Jersey, according to police. The officer noted that Corbin Dr. is not a waypoint between those two locations.

The officer asked the rear passenger to move the clothing on the back seat, at which time he observed a large quantity of unopened mail, according to police. At this point the occupants of the vehicle were removed and the vehicle  searched. A large amount of unopened mail, as well as a crowbar and hammer, was located in the vehicle. Based on this stop, an officer checked the Heights Road Post office and discovered that the mailbox at that location had been forcibly entered. The three suspects were taken into custody.

Artilles and Valdez, of Patterson, New Jersey, and and Javier, of Redding, Pennsylvania, were charged with possession of burglary tools, sixth degree larceny, first degree criminal mischief, second degree criminal trover, and sixth degree conspiracy to larceny.

In total, 61 articles of mail were recovered from the vehicle.

All three suspects were held on a $50,000 bond and transported to Stamford court that morning.