Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

How an Ohio city used GPS to track a mail thief

July 18, 2023


A 24-year-old man — one of three people caught with GPS-tagged mail from a Kettering post office — was sentenced July 13 in U.S. District Court to two years in federal prison.

Keith Dujuan Calahan, of Dayton, pleaded guilty in February to receiving and unlawfully possessing materials stolen from the U.S. mail, including approximately 250 checks from outdoor U.S. Postal Service blue collection boxes. Calahan intended to use the stolen mail to perpetrate more than $250,000 in fraud, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker for the Southern District of Ohio.

To help catch the culprits, Kettering detectives received permission from the USPS to place GPS devices in three dummy parcels “packaged and marked to appear as a legitimate piece of mail … inside each of the three blue collection boxes” at the Forrer Boulevard post office, which was targeted in prior thefts, according to an affidavit signed by U.S. Postal Inspector Brett Yenger.

Kettering police were alerted May 19, 2022, that the dummy parcels were on the move. They tracked the mail to an apartment building on Gracemore Avenue in Kettering near The Greene, where it became stationary, Yenger’s affidavit stated.

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