The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the burglary of a home and a rash of mailbox thefts in the Canelo area over the last week.

At 12:56 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 21, a local resident asked deputies to respond to his home on Canelo Road after he found a door forced open and items scattered about.

Lt. Raoul Rodriguez of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded at 1:12 p.m. and after meeting with the homeowner learned that thieves had damaged a living room door and bedroom door and had likely closed themselves in the bedroom to avoid a pair of dogs. There they stole a .22-caliber revolver and a Maglite flashlight before leaving.

The man and his wife told sheriff’s deputies that they had spent the day in Sierra Vista. As they returned home, they noticed a Hispanic man and woman in a dark-colored vehicle leaving the area. Rodriguez said the two are suspects and the Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate.

Two days earlier on Friday, Jan. 23, the Sheriff’s Office was notified about a number of mailbox thefts in the Canelo area.

A Canelo woman said for two days in a row she had been missing mail from her mailbox at the intersection of Membrillo Lane and State Route 82. The woman said she received mail on a daily basis and therefore something was obviously wrong. A little while later a neighbor said he was missing a package that had been confirmed delivered on Jan. 20.

“He realized that he might not get his package at all now,” Rodriguez said adding that the thefts were reported to the Sonoita Post Office.

That same day, Canelo resident Sherry Wearne said she was asked by mail delivery driver Leslie Showalter to contact neighbors and let them know about the mail thefts.

“I hate to think that we have a thief running around the area, but it seems that we do. So, we better pick our mail up everyday as soon as possible,” Wearne said in an email.

In addition. on Wednesday, Jan. 21, someone reported damaged mailboxes at the corner of Rain Valley Loop Road and State Route 82. Rodriguez said the mailboxes had been shot at.

Sonoita Postmaster Jeff Chapman said bouts of mailbox theft and vandalism occur about once a year, but last week’s incidents were more than usual. He said it would be helpful if neighbors watched each other’s mailboxes and checked their own mailboxes as regularly as possible.

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