Meet The U.S. Postal Service Worker Who Stole Hollywood Mail

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

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Jerry Tyrone Harris heard loud voices in his head, suffered schizophrenia, dropped out of high school, endured bouts of paranoia, clawed his face until it bled, banged his head on walls to quiet the voices, occasionally wanted to kill himself, convinced a dentist to remove all his teeth because he didn't like them, fathered eight children with multiple women, smoked marijuana daily, collected criminal convictions and became a winning job applicant at a U.S. Post Office in Los Angeles.

In March, employees at the Hollywood Post Office discovered someone had been rifling through the mail before it arrived from the Postal Services' Los Angeles Processing & Distribution Center (LAPDC), which happened to be where Harris worked the 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift as a mail sorter.

Special agents with the Postal Service and the Office of Inspector General conducted surveillance at the LAPDC stall designated to sort mail for Hollywood zip codes and observed Harris blatantly opening mail and placing items in his clothing.

When the agents approached Harris with an arrest warrant they found he'd concealed an XBOX 360 Wireless Bluetooth headset, a box with a new LG cell phone and another box with an Android phone.

In an interview with investigators, Harris--who was born in 1971 and grew up in a gang-infested LA neighborhood--admitted he'd been stealing mail for at least six weeks and mostly targeted shipped cell phones because he knew a man who'd pay him $150 each for the stolen items.

Investigators managed to find 47 victims.

U.S. Probation officials are recommending a prison term of 10 to 16 months for the embezzlement. A federal prosecutor noted Harris signed a pre-trial guilty plea and so she is advocating a punishment of six months. The thief thinks he deserves probation because he says he's remorseful and is a good father to all his children, who need his financial contributions to their lives.

Josephine Staton Tucker, the U.S. District Court judge handling the case inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, is scheduled to determine Harris' punishment today.

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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3 comments
BigAl
BigAl

How did this clown get hired in the 1st place? What a moron. He & the HR idiot who did the hiring should get jail time together.

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

The person(s) who hired him should be fired**. Their actions led to the inevitable results. All of us have had items go missing in the USPS. The employment policies of the USPS apparently allow the hiring of convicts, drug abusers, and mentally unstable people to handle the sensitive personal and business information, checks, and expensive small electronics. What could possibly go wrong?

Hey USPS, my company's official policy includes a rule prohibiting the sending of checks of over a certain amount via USPS. Why do you think that is? It's because you hire frikkin' felons to sort our mail. While you practice whatever delusional socio-political-racial employment practices that make you feel good, you lose billions of dollars while people like us ship sensitive items via more trustworthy carriers.

** Yeah I know nobody will be fired because there is no accountability. We'll find that this criminal's hiring was done within all rules and practices and guidelines set forth in some 20,000 page HR manual, with references to 10 other 20,000 page federal guideline documents, so everybody was just doing their job and it's the "system's" fault.

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