The investigation began after surveillance video captured a man and a woman walking up to the front door of an apartment complex on the 7200 block of Franklin Avenue in Hollywood in October.
Investigators say Robert Gerald Thompson used a postal key to access mail rooms in that case and in a string of thefts in Hollywood.
Postal Inspectors say that the first victim who had his package stolen contacted officials after he was contacted by Thompson after news reports surfaced. The call led Postal Inspectors to a break in the case.
"The Postal Inspector was contacted by the victim who told him that the suspect had contacted him and was willing to return the parcel to 'get the feds off his back'," said U.S. Postal Service Inspector Renee Focht. "The Postal Inspector went out and retrieved the parcel from the victim and sent that to our forensic laboratory for fingerprints, and they were a match for Thompson."
A search was conducted at Thompson's home, and inspectors found credit cards, altered checks, and mail in names other than Thompson or his roommate's name. A U.S. mail lock and what appeared to be a counterfeit postal key were also recovered from his apartment. He was subsequently arrested.
Thompson is being held without bond pending his preliminary hearing set for March 6.
If convicted, he faces up to ten years in prison for possession of a postal key and up to five years in federal prison for mail theft.