South Bay Residents Who Helped in Capture of Mail Thief Still Waiting on Reward Money From USPS

Some San Jose residents were instrumental in helping in the capture of a thief who broke into a mail truck in 2020, but they say they’re still waiting for the postal service to deliver their reward money.

Whenever there is a mail theft, the United States postal inspector immediately promotes a $10,000 reward for the capture of the thief. The residents say they put in the work to receive the reward, but the money hasn’t been handed over.

“We filed the paperwork,” Issa Ajlouny said. “We feel we’ve been getting the runaround, saying we don’t have a name and number for you to contact, just fill in this form. It basically goes into a black hole.”

Camera footage capturing the theft showed 32-year-old Mathew Lara diving into a mail truck near Santa Teresa Golf Club and taking off with mail.

“Shocking, concerning, scary that that happened actually in front of my own house,” Maria Drinkhouse said.

It happened in a community that’s saturated with a series of cameras from a group called Safer San Jose.

“Actually caught the license plate, plus it saw the car following the postal service truck,” Ajlouny said.

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All Postal Inspector Reward Posters offer a reward for the “Arrest and Conviction of the Person/s responsible” for the act the reward is being offered for. The arrest may come quickly but the “conviction” may take months and if the case is complex by take more than a year or more. Also, the people who provided the information may not know the full scope of the investigation and the Postal Inspectors may have already had the information that was provided from another source, so the weight of information may not have been as valuable as the provider thinks and the… Read more »