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Sammamish Police remind residents to check mail after recent thefts

Mailboxes. (MyNorthwest photo)

If you live in the Sammamish-Issaquah area, be sure to go check your mail today.

Sammamish Police are warning people to be diligent about checking their mailboxes after bags of mail — including ballots — were stolen from local mailboxes.

Police found two garbage bags of mail dumped at opposite ends of the city — in Sahalee to the north and off Lake Sammamish Parkway to the south. The mail inside them included ballots, which were sent out in King County this week.

Police and postal workers are now in the process of re-delivering that mail to its rightful owners.

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Postal workers in Redmond also found about 30 Sammamish ballots and six Issaquah ballots — unaccompanied by other mail — in a bank of locked mailboxes.

The ballots in both scenarios were all unopened, and police say the reason for the theft is unknown.

However, Sammamish Police Chief Dan Pingrey does not believe this was a politically-motivated crime — he noted that mail theft is very common in Sammamish and Issaquah.

“We do have, throughout the entire Eastside, a lot of mail theft, because people take advantage of that to do fraud, forgery, identification theft, et cetera,” he said. “It’s constant. And obviously, when it occurs now, they’re also getting ballots.”

He said it’s also typical to find bags of dumped mail that thieves consider to not be valuable.

“We will find bags of mail because they’ll get in and take what they can take advantage of — whether it’s money, checks, credit cards or some pieces of identification that might help them create a false identity … the ballots were just left behind with the other potentially garbage mail that does no good to whoever is taking it,” he said.

If you live in King County and don’t get your ballot by Monday, Pingrey recommends you contact the King County Elections Office for a replacement.

If your ballot was stolen, there is no need to fret — the Secretary of State’s Office previously told KIRO Radio that the system only counts one ballot from each registered voter, and that the signature on the envelope must match the voter’s signature. Highly-trained signature verification teams in county offices examine those signatures.

Sammamish Police also remind people to get locking mailboxes to prevent this kind of theft. It’s important to be on the lookout for package theft, especially going into the holiday season, which is a major time for this kind of theft in Sammamish.

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