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Officers uncover post office keys

September 23, 2005 00:00



On September 15, 2005, Northeast Precinct Neighborhood Response Team officers conducting an identity theft investigation contacted 30-year-old Angela Muller and 37-year-old Melissa Ash at an apartment in the 4600 block of Northeast Killingsworth Street. While conducting the investigation, officers seized hundreds of pieces of stolen mail, methamphetamine, forged checks, counterfeit money, forged DMV trip permits, and four keys that appeared to belong to the US Postal Service. During subsequent investigation, officers determined that the postal keys would open some of the blue-colored free standing US Post Office drop boxes commonly found throughout the Portland area.

Police Bureau investigators contacted the Postal Inspection Service and have now determined that the keys were stolen from a postal employee who had been the victim of a car prowl. At the time of the car prowl, the postal employee apparently did not realize the keys had been taken from the car. Investigators believe additional keys may have been stolen. These keys will open locking mailboxes commonly found in apartment complexes and neighborhoods throughout Portland.

Since discovering the theft of the keys, the Postal Inspection Service joined the investigation and has begun changing locks throughout the affected area. Until the locks are changed, any mail left in a locking US Post Office receptacle is vulnerable to theft. The Police Bureau and US Postal Service are advising citizens to take mail into a post office, a postal contact station, or hand deliver mail to a letter carrier.

Investigators are also attempting to locate 29-year-old Joe Vincent Johansen who has been identified as a suspect in this on-going investigation. Johansen has numerous warrants for his arrest and is believed to have unlimited access to fictitious identification.

Anyone with information regarding in this investigation is asked to call (503) 823-5792. ###PPB###


Media Relations:
Sgt. Pete Simpson
Desk: 503-823-0830
Pager: 503-790-1779

Portland Police Bureau
1111 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 1526
Portland, Oregon 97204



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