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Police arrest man accused of stealing mail and packages on west side

Posted at 4:24 PM, Feb 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-08 17:17:20-05

From Parma Heights to Olmsted Falls to Fairview Park, residents have dealt with mail and package thefts for months. 

According to police, parts, pieces and boxes from those thefts have been turning up in park trash cans, dumpsters and even at local businesses.

At East Coast Custard in Fairview Park, Police Chief Erich Upperman said they caught a man on surveillance video driving a white Impala dropping off empty boxes in the dumpster. 

"By that time, we identified the person in the video, as we actually see him get out of the car," Chief Upperman said.

The man they identified is 33-year-old Joseph Jones.

A Fairview Park police officer saw Jones' car parked in the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation Wednesday afternoon. 

"Nestled back in the parking area of the Metroparks where boxes were dumped previously."

Officers arrested Jones, who they said was asleep in his car at the time, and took him and his car into custody.

Fairview Park police believe he could be connected to all of the mail theft reports. 

Jones has not confessed but could end up facing charges in every city and jurisdiction where he's accused of traveling through to steal mail. 

"He can be charged individually for each theft," Chief Upperman explained. 

It's still unclear how many people were affected by these package thefts — the goods and personal information showed up in several different jurisdictions. 

The US Postal Service would not comment on their investigation or what charges Jones may face with them.