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Two arrested in months-long investigation of postal box thefts in Vienna area

A Vienna police car parked on Cherry Street (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Police have identified two teens as suspects in a spree of postal box thefts that began half a year ago with a mail carrier getting robbed and pepper-sprayed in Vienna.

A 19-year-old man and a younger teen were arrested Friday (Jan. 5) in the 3000 block of Borge Street in Oakton, announced the Vienna Police Department, whose detectives coordinated the search with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Fairfax County SWAT officers.

The teens have been charged with robbery, assault with a caustic substance and identity theft, though the VPD didn’t specify which charges applied to each individual.

According to police, a postal worker reported around 11:50 a.m. on June 2 that a person with a knife had demanded their U.S. Postal Service mailbox keys and assaulted them with pepper spray before fleeing. The encounter occurred in the 500 block of Church Street NE, along the carrier’s assigned route.

“Subsequent to the initial incident, a series of thefts occurred, targeting blue collection boxes in the Vienna, Fairfax, and Oakton areas,” Vienna police said. “In response, Vienna PD initiated a collaborative investigation with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.”

The Postal Inspection Service provides support to the U.S. Post Office by investigating all mail-related crimes.

Even after the arrests, which were made without incident, the investigation into the thefts is ongoing, police said.

The Vienna Police Department expressed thanks to the Postal Inspection Service, Fairfax County Police Department and “citizens who came forward and provided information that helped bring the case to a successful conclusion.”

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