Lakewood man charged after being caught with bag of stolen mail

Pierce County prosecutors have charged a Lakewood man with possessing stolen mail after police caught him peering into mailboxes.

Lonell Cooper, 21, was arrested July 7 but has yet to be arraigned.

He was taken into custody after neighbors called police to report seeing a man carrying a knapsack rummaging through mailboxes.

An officer responded and found Cooper carrying a bag stuffed with stolen envelopes, police said. The mail had not been opened.

“The defendant told (police) that ‘a guy’ had dropped the bag and he had picked it up to put things in it,” according to charging papers.

The U.S. Postal Service investigated and found that Cooper had 91 pieces of mail in the knapsack belonging to 42 people. Investigators have spoken with 18 victims and returned 48 pieces of mail so far, records show.