Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, is seeking to stiffen federal penalties for mail theft amid ongoing acts of thievery throughout the Inland Empire and elsewhere.
"Americans continue to suffer from dramatic increases in mail theft here and around the country,'' Calvert said on Tuesday. "It's clear we must send a stronger message and have a more effective deterrent for would-be mail thieves. That's why I have introduced the `Ensuring the Safety of Our Mail Act,' which would double the jail time for anyone convicted of mail theft."
The congressman on Tuesday reintroduced House Resolution 446, which had been brought forward but failed to gain traction in Congress' prior session.
Under federal law, the maximum sentence for a person convicted of postal theft is five years behind bars. H.R. 446 would revise that to a ten-year max.
Calvert cited recent instances of theft to emphasize the need for a stronger measures, including robberies targeting U.S. Postal Service delivery personnel in Moreno Valley and Riverside and a series of thefts allegedly committed by two people in Rancho Mirage.
Mail thefts have been an ongoing strain on law enforcement resources throughout the area for the last decade or more, often involving repeat identity thieves seeking credit cards and documents in mailboxes to perpetrate financial crimes.
"I am committed to ensuring Americans can rely on the safe and secure delivery of their mail,'' Calvert said.
His bill has been assigned to the U.S. House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee for initial consideration.