Three juveniles have confessed to breaking in to the Flandreau Post Office and taking items from the mail, federal authorities said Monday.
“They identified them, and they did confess,” said David Margritz, public information officer with the U.S. Postal Inspector’s office in Omaha, Neb. The office serves the region, including Flandreau.
The young people were not arrested and were released to their parents, he said. No ages were disclosed.
An employee discovered the break-in after arriving at work Friday morning and called police. Investigators would not share specific details of how the suspects entered the building and what time the incident happened because the investigation remains open.
Juveniles typically can’t be arrested on federal postal charges, but could be charged in juvenile court, said Derek Ryan, U.S. Postal Inspector from Sioux Falls. He investigated the Flandreau incident.
State’s Attorney Paul Lewis said he doesn’t have information on the case at this time.
While Ryan wouldn’t offer specifics on what was missing from the mail and whether items were recovered, he said, “There were some things taken from the Post Office from the mail.” If the items from the mail can be identified as to who they belong to, it would be up to the prosecutor’s office to return them, he said.
The Post Office was closed Friday until early afternoon, once the investigation was complete. A sign on the front door said, “Closed for the time being. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
While post office break-ins are not common, they do happen as they do with any businesses, Margritz said. “Usually, it’s local. It’s a crime of opportunity,” he said.
While the Postal Inspector office is in charge of the investigation, the Flandreau Police Department also assisted.