CHICAGO — Authorities have arrested a Chicago man accused of mail theft for the second time in two weeks.
According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), thanks to a joint investigation with the Chicago Police Department, 36-year-old Gustavo Balleza, a Chicago resident, was taken into custody on Monday in connection with several burglaries across the city.
USPIS officials say pending charges against Balleza include “a potential of 13 felony counts of burglary” in Chicago.
Authorities say Balleza was last taken into custody on Nov. 7 after authorities identified him as a suspect allegedly involved in over 15 burglaries and mail thefts in Lincoln Park over the past month.
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is dedicated to defending the nation’s mail system from criminal activity, preserving the integrity of the U.S. Mail, and protecting United States Postal Service employees. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service values our law enforcement partners for supporting our mission to protect the integrity of the U.S. Mail,” Ruth Mendonça, Inspector in Charge of the Chicago Division of the USPIS said.
According to USPIS, Balleza was initially taken into custody in early November after postal inspectors spotted him allegedly breaking into mailboxes and stealing mail.
Following his first arrests, a postal inspector allegedly found him to be in possession of several fake IDs, real ID cards that were not his, stolen mail and about 65 bank cards in the names of victims.
According to authorities, Balleza was taken into custody for the second time on Monday in the 2300 block of North Clark Street. Following his apprehension, authorities allegedly found two stolen IDs, five burglary tools, and 10 bank cards in the names of victims.
USPIS officials say the suspect allegedly committed three additional burglaries after his initial Nov. 7 arrest, while he was on pretrial release.
Authorities say the suspect also had a warrant out for failure to appear in court.