Man charged with stealing mail in 3 mountain counties
WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) —
A man is charged with stealing mail from more than 30 people across three mountain counties.
Waynesville police say 31-year-old Dakota Creek was arrested in Waynesville with more than 40 pieces of stolen mail in his possession.
Police say Creek drove around during the night stealing from mailboxes, targeting victims from Waynesville, Asheville, and Mills River.
Authorities recovered stolen paychecks, debit and credit cards, EBT cards and at least one driver’s license.
Police said it appears Creek mainly targeted clusters of mailboxes.
“So, he would stop at those that have maybe six or seven boxes, and steal as much as he can from one stop rather than having to go to each individual one,” Detective Sam Holland of the Waynesville Police Department said.
The victims are just now getting their stolen property back. Detective Holland said it was a lengthy investigation after the traffic stop that led to Creek’s arrest in early December.
The detective said he worked to notify the victims and even hand-delivered some of the stolen property to its rightful owners.
Police say currently Creek is not facing federal charges in this case.
News 13 has since reached out to the United States Postal Inspection Service, involved in the investigation.
A spokesperson for the agency says it is an ongoing investigation and while the agency can't comment on the case specifically, they say that "unfortunately not every case The U.S. Postal Inspection Service works/assists with is charged federally."
The spokesperson also says "it often depends on the investigation itself and determining factors such as dollar loss, egregiousness, number of victims to name a few factors. Ultimately, it is up to the U.S. Attorney's Office if they accept a case for federal prosecution."