A 33-year-old Spring man has been ordered to prison after he admitted to breaking into a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail collection box and stealing people’s mail, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Edward Wayne Rothlander pleaded guilty March 10, 2015.

Today, U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Rothlander a 37-month sentence to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

As part of his plea, Yarbrough admitted that on or about Dec. 22, 2014, he knowingly broke into an outside mail collection box at the U.S. Post Office located at 211 Baker Road in Houston and stole several pieces of mail.

The investigation began following the break-in of a USPS blue mail collection box on three occasions in a two-month period in late 2014. On or about Dec. 12, 2014, authorities placed a parcel that contained a GPS tracker inside the collection box. Shortly thereafter, the tracker emitted a signal meaning that the parcel was taken. The signal was traced to a location on Rivergate in Spring.
Using surveillance photos, authorities were able to identify Rothlander and the vehicle he used in the crime.

Rothlander admitted to authorities they would find stolen mail at his residence on Diane Lane. He further admitted that he had thrown away what he thought to be a garage door opener at the Rivergate location. Authorities located the device, which was actually the GPS tracker.

A search was also conducted at Rothlander’s residence, at which time authorities located a black Outdoor Products back pack, a cardboard box and a small blue box, all of which contained stolen mail. The individuals who had mailed some of the items were contacted and reported they had mailed multiple Christmas cards from the Baker Road Post Office.

Authorities recovered 90 uncashed checks with a total intended loss of $75,796.04.

Rothlander will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The charges were the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the Harris County Precinct 4 Constables Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mel Pechacek and Megan Paulson are prosecuting the case.