Two Portland women arrested twice within weeks for allegedly breaking into mailboxes

Authorities say two women wanted for mail thefts are behind bars for the second time in a span of a few weeks.
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 5:19 AM PDT
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - Authorities say two women wanted for mail thefts are behind bars for the second time in a span of a few weeks.

People who live in a quiet cul-de-sac in a Cedar Hills community say some neighbors noticed something unusual Saturday morning.

“The U-Haul truck stopped here,” Bob, who lives nearby, said. “They were opening these things, one after another, and taking all the mail out.”

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says deputies responded to Southwest Abercrombie Place and Berkshire Street just after 7 a.m. to a report that a witness saw a woman get out of a van and break into a community mailbox. Another witness say they followed the U-Haul as it left the area.

Then deputies found the van near Southwest Farmington Road and Watson Avenue where they pulled it over with help from Beaverton police.

The sheriff’s office says the U-Haul was reported stolen in Portland earlier this month. Investigators also learned the license plate was a forgery.

“We were astonished they would do all of that,” Bob said.

Investigators say Brandie Stone, 31, and Jessica Van Wechel, 40, both of Portland, were taken into custody.

Deputies say they found stolen mail, burglary tools, and drugs. Both also had warrants related to prior theft charges.

The sheriff’s office says this is the second time the two women have been arrested together in just a few weeks. They were also arrested on September 2. Deputies say they were called to Safeway on Northwest Cornell Road near Murray Boulevard just before 1 a.m. Investigators say the pair allegedly stole groceries and also drove off in a U-Haul, before deputies arrested them nearby. Deputies say they recovered stolen mail, fake IDs, fake credit cards, drugs, and a stolen gun.

“The people that have been here long say they’ve never seen anything like this,” Bob said.

Authorities say both incidents are still under investigation.