Men plead guilty to stealing mail in Sacramento, Placer counties

Two Sacramento men have pleaded guilty to stealing U.S. Postal Service locks so they could make keys to access neighborhood mailbox units.

Billee Vang, 26, and Dang Vue, 27, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Sacramento to a fraud scheme that involved manufacturing Postal Service locks and keys so they could steal mail. They also pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and unlawful possession of at least five identification documents for fraudulent purposes, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Between Jan. 13 and May 12, Vang and Vue stole mail in Sacramento and Placer counties, including the communities of Roseville, Elk Grove and Sacramento. As part of their scheme, they stole Postal Service locks and used them to reverse-engineer counterfeit keys so they could steal mail from neighborhood mailbox units, the news release said.

The men used the stolen mail, including checks and other identification documents, to take over victims’ bank and credit card accounts. They also used and attempted to use access devices, credit card convenience checks and personal checks that had been stolen from postal customers to carry out unauthorized transactions at the expense of federally insured financial institutions, according to the news release.

Vang and Vue are to be sentenced Feb. 16 by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.

The case resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service with the assistance of the Elk Grove and Roseville police departments, and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy