USPS logo LINK — USPS employee news Printable

Bayou bust

Stolen USPS truck recovered at ‘chop shop’

The USPS and Postal Inspection Service employees.
The USPS and Postal Inspection Service employees who helped recover the missing vehicle include, from left, Robert Bavido, the New Orleans Vehicle Maintenance Facility manager; Francisco Aviles and Wayne Bergeron, supervisors; Rick Schwalenberg, lead technician; Chris Stifflemire, the Inspection Service’s team leader; Matthew Pederson, postal inspector; and Mark Merrell, physical security specialist.

The Postal Inspection Service recently helped New Orleans police recover a missing USPS truck at a “chop shop” where thieves disassemble stolen cars for parts.

Thieves broke into the USPS Vehicle Maintenance Facility in New Orleans in June and stole two vehicles: a newly purchased flatbed wrecker truck and an older vehicle.

“The good thing was we had the wheels turned [on the new truck] and they couldn’t jimmy the lock,” said Robert Bavido, the facility’s manager.

After a passerby spotted the newer vehicle in a local boat launch the next morning, postal inspectors Chris Stifflemire and Matthew Pedersen got involved.

With help from Wayne Bergeron and Rick Schwalenberg, two other employees at the facility, the inspectors reviewed video footage, conducted surveillance and eventually traced the older vehicle to the chop shop.

The inspectors arrested one of the suspects involved in the theft.

“Protecting the Postal Service, its employees and its customers is integral to our mission,” said Adrian Gonzalez, the Houston Division’s inspector in charge. “That includes Postal Service property as well.”

He thanked the facility’s employees and the New Orleans Police Department for “bringing the offenders to justice and recovering these valuable assets.”

Post-story highlights