Pleasanton Weekly

News - January 10, 2014

Four busted in multi-county mail-theft ring

Call from resident leads to arrests

by Glenn Wohltmann

A call from an alert Pleasanton resident led to the arrest of four men in a mail-theft ring that spanned four counties, including cities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

A resident of MacDonald Court in Pleasanton spotted a man removing mail from several mailboxes at about 9:20 p.m. Friday, then watched him join others in a compact silver hatchback-style vehicle.

A sweep by police located the car, a 2011 Nissan Versa not far from the caller's location with four male subjects from outside the area. A search of the car turned up suspected stolen mail from multiple addresses in Pleasanton, as well as 13 other cities in Contra Costa, San Mateo and Solano counties.

Four Contra Costa County men were arrested and booked into Santa Rita Jail for possession of stolen property, forgery, conspiracy and drug-related charges.

They were: David A. Gonzalez, 23, of Antioch and Concord residents Elmer Aguilar, 18, Gustavo E. Rivas, 26, and Ruben J. Ramirez, 31.

The four face 14 counts of possession of stolen property and conspiracy to commit a felony. Aguilar was also charged with one count of forgery, and Rivas was charged with possession of methamphetamine.

According to court documents, Gonzalez admitted seeing the others steal mail, but denied taking any himself.

Gonzalez was ordered held without bond. Aguilar was held in lieu of $300,000 bond, Rivas in lieu of $290,000 bond and Ramirez in lieu of $280,000 bond.

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