By Kevin Deutsch
Detectives arrested a pair of thieves Friday suspected of stealing mail from Parkland residents, and authorities believe there may be dozens of additional victims.
Keno Sewel Jr., 22, of Fort Lauderdale, and a 17-year-old male who authorities did not name publicly, stole mail from at least two mailboxes in a Parkland neighborhood on June 3, according to detectives with the Broward Sheriff’s Office Burglary Apprehension Team.
A short time after the thefts, detectives arrested the pair without incident at a Chevron at 7191 N. State Rd. 7, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Sewel’s case.
Investigators first honed in on the accused thieves while surveilling a blue 2018 Kia Optima used in prior mail thefts in Parkland, Plantation, and Davie, according to BSO.
They tracked the vehicle as it traveled east in the 7500 block of Holmberg Road. The two accused thieves were inside the car, apparently casing homes, investigators said.
Detectives witnessed the suspects stealing from two mailboxes, and snatching the mail while they were still seated in the Optima, according to BSO.
One of the thefts happened at a home off of Holmberg Road. The other at the 6900 block of Northwest 66th Avenue, records show.
One victim whose mail was stolen had a personal check for $1,100 snatched by the duo, he told investigators.
Inside the KIA, detectives found six personal checks stolen from local mailboxes, along with other stolen mail, records show.
Sewel admitted to the theft on Northwest 66th Avenue, according to the affidavit. He told investigators it was “the first time he has done this,” records show.
The thieves had allegedly targeted outgoing mailboxes outside of residential homes, detectives said. As a result, detectives on Wednesday advised residents to consider mailing outgoing items directly from a post office.
BSO detectives, along with police in Plantation and Davie, are investigating the cases. Inspectors from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are also probing the incidents, according to BSO.
As of Wednesday, the accused thieves faced charges in four mail theft cases in Parkland. The charges against Sewel include fraud, burglary of a structure, criminal use of personal identification information, unlawful possession of personal identification information, and petit theft, according to BSO.
Detectives said there may be dozens of victims who have yet to be identified. Additional information about the investigation was not made public.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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