CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Suspect in West Seattle mail-truck thefts charged with federal crimes

(Images from charging documents, suspect at West Seattle Target allegedly using stolen card)

A suspect in the theft of multiple US Postal Service vehicles and mail – including two West Seattle incidents on which we reported in January – is due in court this afternoon on federal charges. Here’s the announcement from the US Attorney’s Office (we’ve marked the West Seattle-relevant paragraph in bold):

The suspect in a series of mail vehicle and mail key thefts was arrested today on a federal complaint charging him with theft of mail and possession of stolen mail, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.

Johny Mixayboua, 27, is accused of a string of mail theft incidents involving stolen postal vehicles, stolen postal keys, mail theft, and associated crimes such as identity theft. Mixayboua will appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 2:00 today.

According to the criminal complaint, on December 28, 2022, a U.S. Postal Service vehicle was stolen from the 6300 block of South Bangor Street in Seattle. In the vehicle was a postal key that is used to access the cluster mailbox units in the 98178 zip code. The key allows the postal worker to open the back of the cluster box to deliver mail to multiple households. Since the theft of the vehicle and postal key, there have been numerous reports of cluster boxes in zip code 98178 being opened and mail stolen.

Working with neighbors, the Postal Inspection Service was able to get door camera footage showing the person accessing the postal boxes. Neighbors reported credit cards being stolen and attempts being made to use them. Inspectors were able to review images from when the credit card attempts occurred and ultimately identified Mixayboua as the person stealing the mail and attempting to use the stolen credit cards.

Additionally, local law enforcement determined that vehicles used in a number of the mail theft incidents were reported stolen.

On January 17, 2023, two more Postal Service vehicles were stolen. One in the 3000 block of Beach Drive SW and a second one in the 3600 block of 57th SW. Both are in zip code 98116. Using doorbell camera footage from the block where one of the vehicles were recovered, investigators allegedly saw Mixayboua removing mail and parcels from the stolen postal vehicle and putting them in another vehicle. Again, law enforcement traced credit cards stolen from the mail and obtained surveillance footage that appears to show Mixayboua attempting to make purchases with the credit cards.

On January 30, 2023, a fourth postal vehicle was stolen – this time from the 2000 block of S. Columbian Way in Seattle. On March 28, 2023, a fifth postal vehicle was stolen from the 5700 block of S. 129th Ave. One of the people associated with the theft matches a description of Mixayboua.

In late January and February, the mail theft incidents continued — this time in the Snoqualmie area. The cluster boxes were opened with either a counterfeit or authentic postal key. Again, credit cards were stolen, and one was linked to images of Mixayboua making purchases at Target.

Throughout April, mail thefts continued from as far north as Lake Forest Park and as far south as southeast Seattle.

The postal service halted deliveries in zip code 98118 for about a week while investigators worked to track down and arrest Mixayboua.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) has worked diligently to get Mixayboua and his coconspirators into custody. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elyne Vaught.

We’ve just taken a first run through the charging documents; they note that Mixayboua used a stolen credit card for purchasing items from at least three stores and one gas station in West Seattle. We’re still researching and will add anything more of West Seattle relevance here. He is charged with two federal counts, mail theft and possession of stolen mail, so far.

ADDED 12:13 PM: Mixayboua has eight auto-theft-related cases on record in King County, between 2014 and 2018. In the documents for the most-recent case, he was described as a “prolific auto-theft suspect throughout King County.” The 2018 case involved three auto-theft-related counts and one count of eluding; he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

19 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Suspect in West Seattle mail-truck thefts charged with federal crimes"

  • Kt May 24, 2023 (11:56 am)

    Excellent news!

  • DRW May 24, 2023 (12:33 pm)

    Nicely done! I wonder if he ever served that three and a half years back in 2018? Im thinking no. 

    • WSB May 24, 2023 (12:41 pm)

      Yes, he was sentenced and went to prison. For how long, I don’t know; there’s credit for time served, credit for good behavior, etc., that factor into when someone is released. He is not on record as having been in the King County Jail at any time in the past year. I asked where he was arrested, since we have had at least one warrant-type law-enforcement response in the area this week for which I have no explanation yet, but that wasn’t it – the USAO says he was arrested this morning in Columbia City – TR

  • Jeepney May 24, 2023 (1:21 pm)

    Glad to see it’s a federal charge, I doubt they will be as forgiving as our local justice system.

  • Ferns May 24, 2023 (1:43 pm)

    It was scary reading about the mail truck thefts. So shameless, brazen. Great news he’s being charged. I can’t help but think what a huge negative impact he’s had on so many people and businesses in the region and how much of our system was expended just to stop him. One man – not even a very clever one it appears. I hope he receives an extremely long sentence. The full federal sentence, which could amount to life. It’s hard for me to imagine how this level of criminality (and recidivism) can be reformed. His criminal behavior just seems so… unsophisticated, thankfully? I imagine he’s a miserable person. But he isn’t allowed to put that on everyone else. I’d like to see a very clear sentencing message sent about what happens when you steal mail trucks and disrupt postal service.  

  • Paul May 24, 2023 (1:47 pm)

    I believe USPS falls under Federal Prison, therefore there is no early release to the best of my knowledge when someone is sentenced.  Usually you get a credit for good behavior in the beginning but if you screw up then you stay the whole time.  

    • WSB May 24, 2023 (3:10 pm)

      The question was about the 2018 case, which was local, not federal. Meantime, googling around, multiple references say the feds do have “time off for good behavior” too.

  • Graciano May 24, 2023 (2:15 pm)

    Hopefully the Federal Judge is not as lenient as these City and County catch and releaseJudges are.  

  • Lets steal mail May 24, 2023 (2:22 pm)

    Do the charge documents say how the mail trucks were stolen? I really hope it’s not a situation where keys were left in them 4 TIMES and he just drove away with it. 

    • WSB May 24, 2023 (3:20 pm)

      I just read through again and no, the method is not mentioned.

  • G May 24, 2023 (3:02 pm)

    I was one of the ones who had my credit card stolen on January  17. He racked up over $3,000.00 in bills using my card. Not the brightest in the bunch, he continued to try to charge items at places like Pokémon, several gas stations,Target and many more after the card had a fraud alert on it and charges were denied- for many more days. This caused me lots of grief and I hope he’s put away for a long time. 

  • Boop May 24, 2023 (3:55 pm)

    Throw the book at him!  How does someone like this ever qualify for “good behavior” ever again?!

  • oerthehillz May 24, 2023 (5:19 pm)

    From what I’ve been told, Federal prison is a breeze compared to other options.

    • aa May 24, 2023 (7:00 pm)

      Who told you?  What can possibly be a breeze in federal prison?

      • oerthehillz May 25, 2023 (10:21 am)

        A breeze compared. Compared being the important word.

  • 1994 May 24, 2023 (9:30 pm)

    Nick Brown, be sure to throw the book at him!!

  • Chrissy D May 24, 2023 (10:37 pm)

    What are you looking for? What do you think you’ll find? Was it worth it? 

  • 22blades May 25, 2023 (6:57 am)

    What happened to the other side of the equation? The practice of leaving keys in the truck cab is kind of mind boggling in this day in age. I hope it was just a local practice. This guy is probably telling everyone in prison.

  • nonni May 25, 2023 (9:32 am)

    I don’t know whether keys are left in mail truck ignitions, but I’ve walked past more than a few vehicles with easy access to baskets full of envelopes and parcels, while their driver is across the road or down the block. It wouldn’t even be necessary to open a door to access them, if one were of a criminal bent.

Sorry, comment time is over.