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News Release
SMP24021607_Items_seized_in_the_service_of_the_search_warrant.jpeg
SMP24021607_Items_seized_in_the_service_of_the_search_warrant.jpeg
Detectives arrest one in connection with mail theft, multiple federal charges pending (Photo) -- UPDATE 2 - 04/11/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: March 26, 2024

CONTACT:     Salem Police Communications Office | spdmedia@cityofsalem.net

 

Detectives arrest one in connection with mail theft, multiple federal charges pending

Additional personal documents discovered, list updated

Updated 04/11/2024 | 10:30 a.m.

The effort to return documents to more than 200 people continues. As the investigation has progressed, detectives discovered additional documents belonging to more individuals. 

The list of persons whose documents are ready for return has been updated.

Residents or business owners who suspect they may have lost documents through theft are urged to review the list on the weblink at salempd.info/document-return.

To begin the recovery of the property, the document owner must:

  • Complete the online form.
  • Pick up the property at the Salem Police Station, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The address is 333 Division ST NE.
  • Bring valid identification, such as your government identification or driver license.

Further instructions are available on the webpage.

# # #

Police to return personal and financial documents collected in the investigation

Updated 03/28/2024 | 2:00 p.m.

Felony Crimes Unit detectives finished sorting through all the documents seized as part of a lengthy mail theft investigation which resulted in the arrest of Ross Benjamin Sierzaga, age 33, of Salem on March 25. 

To help expedite the return of hundreds of personal documents to their rightful owners, a webpage with information has been created. Residents who suspect they may have lost documents through theft can determine if they are on the list of individuals who can recover their property.

Things to know:

  • The web address for the page is salempd.info/document-return
  • If your name is listed, complete the form to start the process of retrieving your property.
  • Items must be picked up by the owner. 
  • The owner must present valid identification, such as your state-issued ID or driver license.
  • You may pick up your property at the Salem Police Station, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The address is 333 Division ST NE.
  • Additional instructions are available on the webpage.

All residents should note, any unopened mail collected as part of this investigation will be returned by the US Postmaster. 

Any Salem residents who have been a victim of mail theft but have not yet reported it, should do so at salempd.info/online-report. Theft of mail should also be reported to the US Postal Inspection Service online or by calling 1-877-876-2455.

Detectives urge any victims of identity theft to visit the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft website, www.identitytheft.org, for helpful information and recommend an identity theft alert be registered with the three major consumer reporting companies, EquifaxExperian, and TransUnion.

# # #

Originally published 03/26/2024 | 1:30 p.m.

Salem, Ore. — A 33-year-old Salem man was arrested yesterday, March 25, during the service of a warrant at an apartment in southeast Salem.

Salem Police patrol officers arrested Ross Benjamin Sierzega on Monday afternoon without incident on multiple warrants stemming from a nearly two-year investigation by Felony Crimes Unit detectives into incidents of mail theft and related crimes in the Salem area. 

Following the arrest, a search warrant was served in partnership with the United States Postal Inspection Service at Sierzega’s apartment in the 3300 block of Crawford ST SE. The search of the dwelling resulted in the seizure of two lock cores from community mailboxes, several counterfeit mailbox keys and tools to manufacture the counterfeit keys, multiple checks, bank cards, and financial documents not in Sierzega’s name, and approximately 30 pounds of mail. In addition to the evidence collected, detectives seized a short-barreled shotgun and home-made body armor.

Sierzega is currently in custody of the US Marshals Service on federal charges related to this investigation. In addition to 11 outstanding Oregon warrants, Sierzega was charged with the following:

  • Felon in possession of a firearm
  • Unlawful possession of a short-barreled shotgun
  • Felon in possession of body armor
  • Identity theft
  • Forgery, first-degree
  • Criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree
  • Possession of burglary tools

Sierzega will make his initial appearance in federal court today, March 26, on a federal warrant which was based on charges of mail theft, aggravated identity theft, and bank fraud. Under US Code, manufacture of a counterfeit mail key carries a maximum sentence of 10 years upon conviction. 

Of the investigation, Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack noted, “I know so many residents have been directly impacted in recent years all across our city as victims of this far too prevalent and pernicious crime. The suspect’s arrest hopefully brings some sense of justice to victims and signals to those who would steal mail and commit fraud that we take these crimes seriously.”

The chief of police also commended the collaborative work done by Salem Police detectives and the US postal inspectors involved, “My thanks to the detectives who were relentless in their investigative efforts. I am also grateful for the excellent working relationship we have with the US Postal Inspection Service.”

Felony Crimes Unit detectives will spend the next several weeks reaching out to victims to return stolen property seized in the investigation. The US Postal Inspection Service will handle the processing and return of the stolen mail.

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View more news releases from Salem Police Department.