On Thursday morning, Tagui Abramyan, 41, was arrested at a Van Nuys residence under suspicion of mail theft. It’s reported that Abramyan was caught stealing mail from the front of a Malibu home, prompting police to seek a search warrant for her residence. Upon their search, officers found hundreds of pieces of mail. After being arrested, Abramyan posted her $50,000 bail. There is still one more suspect currently at large.

This day and age, mail theft is usually connected to one form or another of identity theft. Typically, mail will be stolen en masse and searched for letters containing personal identifying information. Things like social security numbers and bank account numbers are an especially lucky find. With this information, the mail thief can open up credit lines under the victim’s identity and use the cards to their heart’s content.

Letters aren’t the only targets for mail thieves. Packages can be a nice find since they not only contain an item, but packing slips that ship with the packages often have the victim’s billing info printed on them.

Mail theft is covered under California Penal Code 530.5 (e) PC and is described as:

  • Taking mail from a mailbox or other authorized receptacle for mail, a post office or letter carrier
  • Using fraud or deception to obtain, or attempt to obtain mail from any of these sources
  • Remove the contents of any stolen mail
  • Destroy the stolen mail
  • Buy, receive or possess any stolen mail, knowing that it was stolen

Mail theft is usually a misdemeanor in California, with the possible penalties of summary probation, up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Mail theft is also a federal crime, meaning that it can be prosecuted at the federal level with significantly increased penalties. Due to the many pieces of mail found in Abramyan’s residence, it is likely she will face stiff charges.