Some residents of a Santa Barbara County community stepped up to help catch someone suspected of a string of mail thefts.
Since November, there’s been a rash of thefts from mailboxes in the Painted Cave area. Some residents installed a surveillance system. On Saturday, someone saw an unfamiliar woman removing mail from a mailbox.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies called to the scene stopped Melissa Wheeler. They say the Ventura County woman’s vehicle was loaded with stolen mail from the Painted Cave, Mission Canyon, West Camino Cielo, Foothill, and Montecito areas.
There were also illegal drugs in the car. The 41 year old Santa Paula woman was arrested on mail theft, possession of stolen mail, and possession of drugs charges.