The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is working with the U. S. Postal Inspectors after a burglary was reported last Friday morning at the Post Office in Ariel. The break-in was reported last Friday morning, just before 9 am. Deputies say that it looks like someone used some sort of “pry device” to open a standard metal postal box outside of the building, then they used something to smash the front door. The suspect then reached inside to unlock the deadbolt. The suspect apparently stole a Bank Stamp, along with documents that are related to the use of the stamp. A box of keys was stolen, keys that are used to open Post office boxes used by the public. A box of mail being held for a local resident who is on vacation was also taken. Physical evidence was collected, along with latent fingerprints. The Postal Inspectors are taking the lead on this investigation.
Deputies say that this burglary was related to another break-in reported last Friday in Ariel. At about 12:20 pm, the people who had just returned from a 20-day vacation to Europe called to say that someone had entered their house. Along with their box of mail from the Post Office, they say that some older stereo equipment was taken, along with personal tax documents and other documents, along with some coins and heirloom family jewelry. Evidence was collected, but no suspects have been identified.