2 arrested after more than 100 mailboxes broken into in Cypress-area neighborhood, deputies say

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Wednesday, January 31, 2024
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CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- Vince Ulsh is still waiting on W-2s and tax documents for his business a week into tax season.

"I have got none yet, which makes me nervous," Ulsh said.

He has reason to be nervous, given the community mailbox in the Cypress neighborhood Fairfield has been repeatedly hit by thieves, who apparently come armed with postal service keys.

Craig Conner said they stole from him 12 times over the last month.

"They stole a credit card, and I had the credit card company send me another one, and then that got stolen as well," Conner said.

Last week, the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office said it arrested Cody Polanco and Tarah Hill for a string of mail thefts in the Cypress area.

RELATED: 'Very scared' residents in Cypress' Fairfield neighborhood plagued by consistent mailbox thefts

While it's unclear if they stole mail from Ulsh or Conner, Sugar Land police said the suspects used USPS arrow keys to steal mail from 140 mailboxes at the Telfair Lofts apartments in December.

Investigators said they found 50 driver's licenses, counterfeit postal service arrow keys, and three trash bags filled with mail when they searched the couple's northwest Harris County hotel room last week.

"They go get one tax statement, one W-2, that's your identity. It's got everything on it you need," Ulsh said.

According to a USPS Office of Inspector General report, mail thefts are up in the Houston area.

In 2021, 128 mail theft cases were reported. In 2022, there were another 155 cases.

Earlier this month, a surveillance camera captured a witness struggling with a mail theft suspect at a Galleria-area apartment complex.

In Cypress, homeowners have had enough.

"We're gonna start setting up a neighborhood watch. They're talking about taking shifts out here," Ulsh said.

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SEE MORE: Man and woman arrested in connection to string of burglaries at Baytown and Houston post offices