Hollister: Deputies bust two mail thieves, recover drugs, a gun, and nearly 100 stolen mail items

28 stolen mail victims across three counties

HOLLISTER, Calif. - A Hollister resident was alerted by a security alarm system that someone was trying to open their driveway gate.

According to the San Benito County Sheriff's Office, around 9:40 a.m. Thursday, deputies were dispatched to the 900 block of Cabernet Drive in the Vineyard Estates neighborhood of San Benito County.

The resident was able to see two people in a white Ford Expedition taking mail from different mailboxes.

Deputies were able to locate a car fitting the description near Tres Pinos General Store. Two people were parked in the car. 31-year-old Stephanie Lujan was detained by deputies however 34-year-old Anthony Torres took off in the Expedition. 

"While fleeing, the driver threw a loaded firearm out of the vehicle. That firearm was later recovered by Deputy Gillies," said Captain Eric Taylor.

Torres was spotted fleeing the Expedition on foot near the Heatherwood Estates neighborhood. Deputies were able to catch up to Torres and arrested him.

Inside the Expedition deputies found narcotics, ammunition and nearly 100 pieces of stolen mail from 28 victims in San Benito, Monterey and Santa Clara Counties.

Lujan and Torres were booked into the San Benito County Jail for the following charges: Possession of stolen identifying information of more than 10 people, conspiracy to commit felony, felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of narcotics for sale, resisting arrest, 2 felony warrants, and probation violation.

"The United States Postal Inspectors are assisting and will be in touch with all victims of the mail and identity theft.  They will be conducting the follow-up investigation regarding all things related to the stolen mail in both counties.  Federal charges may be pending for Lujan and Torres," said Cpt. Taylor.



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