Updated:TACOMA, Wash. —
Three people are accused of stealing hundreds of pieces of mail, including Christmas packages, in Tacoma.
Postal service inspectors said mail thefts tend to increase around the holidays because thieves know they stand a good chance of finding something expensive.
Most of those thieves aren't caught, but in this case, police were alerted to the thefts by a man driving through northeast Tacoma who spotted three people in a truck.
When officers pulled the two men and one woman over, they denied knowing anything about stolen mail until some fell out of the truck, authorities said.
“A package actually fell out and the addressee on the package was not any of the occupants in the car,” said Tacoma police officer Loretta Cool.
Hundreds of envelopes were found inside the rented truck ranging from bills and letters to packages.
Police said they arrested a woman in the truck after she repeatedly gave them fake names.
The two men weren't immediately arrested but could be charged after the victims are identified.
U.S. Postal Service inspectors are taking the mail to trace where it came from and build a theft case.
“We’re doing our best to return that mail as appropriate for Christmas,” said David Schroader with the U.S. Postal Service.
The Postal Service will try to return as many of the packages and gifts as possible, but it could be tough to get it all where it belongs by Christmas Tuesday.
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