2 arrested in area mail thefts

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By Pamela Lawson

Two people arrested Saturday in connection with mail thefts in the mountain area may also be linked to recent residential burglaries in Conifer, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Jeffco deputies arrested 27-year-old Michael Pantera of Denver and Sophie Shafer, 18, of Bailey without incident on Dec. 22 in the 27000 block of Richmond Hill Road.

More than 375 pieces of mail, including gift cards, cash, wine and a box of homemade cookies, were recovered during the arrest, according to the Jeffco sheriff’s report.

A week prior, more than 140 mailboxes had been hit in Conifer, Pine Junction, Morrison and Evergreen.

News tips from the sheriff’s office triggered reports from several Conifer area residents, some of whom reported seeing a man in a red Volkswagen parked at a row of mailboxes removing mail.

The suspects have been charged with theft and are being held at the Jefferson County jail.

Investigators are also attempting to determine if Pantera and Shafer are connected to any recent burglaries in the 285 Corridor.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Postal Service and Park County Sheriff’s Office are continuing the investigation to determine if additional charges will be filed.