New reports of stolen mail, including election ballots, are surfacing in the Portland-metro area.
Resident Stephanie Prendergast told KGW8 that when she returned to her home on Sunday her mail and her ballot were both gone. Other neighbors who had checked their mail on Saturday found their ballots, but those who waited until Sunday couldn't find theirs.
“I noticed upon pulling up to our house that our mailbox was open. There was some junk mail, but no ballot,” she said.
Prendergast continued: “I think we've kind of entrusted that our mail is fine and our vote is fine. I would just really encourage people to not be lazy— go get your mail. We might be looking into a locked mailbox in the future.”
Not too far away, in Camas, there were similar incidents.
Police said that neighbors reported finding "piles of stolen mail on the side of the road", including 9 election ballots. Two residents had police deliver their ballots to their door after they were recovered.
A Camas resident who wanted to stay anonymous said: “I just said, ‘What? My ballots were stolen?! I was upset but I was very thankful that [the officer] brought them back to us.”
Local police said that over the weekend, someone in Camas broke into four community mailboxes. One neighbor's camera caught a possible suspect, who was driving a white four door sedan.
Camas Police Sgt. Scot Boyles said: “We're trying to really let the neighborhoods know to be vigilant about their community mailboxes. Know who your neighbors are, know who's supposed to be around, and if you see someone who looks suspicious call 911.”
Boyles said police have investigated ten reports of mail theft this year, most centered around community mailboxes. He said the reports are common and that he didn't think the latest case was politically motivated.
“This fits the same pattern of our other mail thefts. If this was politically motivated, I think that the suspects would have damaged the ballots or made them unusable. In this case they left them sealed and threw them on the side of the road,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Prendergast awaits a replacement ballot. She concluded: “It just feels like this shouldn't have been complicated, and now it's complicated.”
You can watch KGW8's report here: