HERCULES -- Investigators continued to comb through evidence seized this week after five people were arrested in a mail theft ring that targeted dozens of residents in cities across the Bay Area, police said.

At least 25 theft victims were from Hercules, police said, and an additional 19 cities were targeted throughout the Bay Area. The number of victims is still unknown.

The mail theft discovery began with two arrests Tuesday afternoon: Police said 25-year-old Brandon Thomas-Harris, of Hercules, attempted to make two purchases with counterfeit money at the Cigarettes Cheaper store, 1511 Sycamore Ave.

Officers responding to the store found that Thomas-Harris had three counterfeit $20 bills in his possession. He was arrested and charged with second-degree burglary and possession of counterfeit currency.

Police also arrested Justin Reed Conlon, a 27-year-old Martinez resident who had accompanied Thomas-Harris to the store. Officers said he had several credit cards and identification cards on him; none were in his name.

Conlon faces seven counts of possession of stolen property.

While searching the car Thomas-Harris and Conlon had driven to the store, police found two suitcases stuffed with mail and other documents. Investigators found mail from at least 25 different Hercules addresses and began contacting residents who said their mail had been stolen.


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Wednesday, police served a search warrant at a home associated with one of the two men, arrested three other people and found cash, drugs and more stolen mail.

Hercules residents Paul Pen, 36, Carlos Rivera, 63, and Silvia Solorzano, 54, were arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for sale,

Their cases have not been reviewed by the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office, pending further investigation, police said.

Stolen mail was found from addresses in Danville, El Sobrante, Concord, Martinez, Lafayette, Rodeo, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Orinda, Walnut Creek, Oakland and San Ramon, as well as cities in Solano, Napa and Marin counties.

Hercules police said they had turned over the stolen mail to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Contact Katie Nelson at 925-945-4782 or follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.