A duffel bag left on the side of a rural Franklin County road has led sheriff’s deputies to bust a wide-ranging mail theft operation.
Franklin County investigators said it’s going to be a while before they know the breadth of the operation that spanned across Eastern Washington and into Spokane and Idaho.
Deputies became aware of the thefts in mid-February when a duffel bag with mail from Franklin, Benton, Adams and Grant counties was found on the side of Mountain Vista Road.
The suspects appeared to be snatching all of the mail from the victims’ mailboxes and sorting out the checks, investigators said.
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It was one of those checks that led deputies to Danielle Cathcart, 28, and Don Ramsey, 36, both of Basin City.
A victim told deputies that someone cashed a missing check, said Franklin County Sgt. Gordon Thomasson.
They found Cathcart and Ramsey at a home in the 3000 block of Mountain Vista Road. When they went inside Wednesday, they found hundreds of pieces of mail from as far away as Idaho and Spokane county.
Cathcart and Ramsey were booked into the Franklin County jail on suspicion of mail theft.
Investigators are sorting through hundreds of pieces of stolen mail discovered in the home. They don’t yet know how many victims there are, or how many others suspects form the theft ring.
Thomasson asked people to be patient as deputies contact victims.
Anyone who sent a check to someone in the area, or didn’t get an expected check, during the past 30 days, can call the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at 509-545-3501.