KCSO addresses mail theft

Sgt. Johnny Frisbie

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office would like to alert the residents in the Kern Valley area regarding an influx of mail thefts and fraudulent account activity. These investigations have plagued Kern Valley since December 2018 and are still occurring. Senior deputies and deputies from the KCSO Kern Valley Substation have been following up and investigating these crimes extensively the past few months. Through their meticulous investigations, they have identified and arrested four suspects in connection with several of these investigations.

James Jesse Peale (29), Margaret Lee Witzig (27), Kody Michael Brooks (24), and Savana Lee Bailey (23) have all been arrested in connection with several mail theft and fraud investigations. In these investigations, numerous victims had their personal information stolen from the mail that was used to cash fraudulent checks or fraudulently used a bank/access card to steal money from banks. During the investigations, senior deputies from the Kern Valley Substation were able to identify well over 10 victims in multiple cases that led to the arrest of the suspects listed above.

These suspects have been connected to the following cases and do not include those investigations they were also arrested in connection to in Bakersfield.

• 2019-00012090
• 2019-00012382
• 2019-00012616
• 2019-00024029
• 2019-00030756
• 2019-00032493

The public is reminded to be vigilant and report suspicious activity and persons that are unfamiliar to the area. As a reminder, make sure to check your mail daily and if anticipating a specific article of mail to be delivered and do not receive in a certain timeframe to contact company to inquire about a tracking number or date the item was mailed. Also, notify your local Post Office if there is a problem with receiving mail. If you plan on being gone for a period of time it is recommended to contact your local Post Office to have your mail held until returning. Once you identify or determine specific articles of mail as stolen you are encouraged to notify KCSO.