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03/03/24 - LCSO Cases #24-1003, 24-1021 - Deputies assigned to West Lane arrest two on multiple mail thefts, car break ins

Beginning on February 25th, two suspects began stealing mail from over a dozen mailboxes and broke into a car in the Mapleton area. Community members helped Lane County Sheriff’s deputies identify possible suspects and the involved vehicle through security video and photos. On February 27th, KEZI reported on the incidents, which led many victims to come forward that had not yet reported thefts to the Sheriff’s Office. On February 28th, both suspects, Matthew Curtis Berkner Sr. and Daniel Kenneth Frye, were located and arrested in Florence on unrelated cases. 

Deputies contacted over a dozen victims and several witnesses over the following days and developed probable cause to arrest both suspects, who were still being held in the Lane County Jail.  On March 3rd, deputies added charges of Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Theft 1, Criminal Mischief 2, and Theft 3.  Additional charges may be added, as mail theft can be charged federally by the US Postal Inspectors.

Mail theft and car break-ins are both crimes of opportunity we can all take steps to prevent.  We recommend residents install locking mailboxes, check mail frequently (and have a trusted neighbor check your mail when you are gone), and don’t leave valuables in your car even when parked in your driveway.  Motion lights and home security cameras are also very helpful in both preventing crime in your neighborhood, and assisting deputies with investigations. 

Thanks to the many residents who helped on this case.