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On April 14, 2021, at about 11:51 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 8200 block of West End Road near Arcata for the report of a suspicious subject in the area.
Deputies arrived in the area and observed several open and empty mailboxes. Nearby the mailboxes deputies located the reported suspicious subject, later identified as 38-year-old John Wayne Merrell, walking along the roadway. During their investigation, deputies learned that Merrell was in possession of more than 30 pieces of stolen mail from residences on West End Road.
Merrell was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of mail theft (PC 530.5(E)).
The stolen mail was recovered and is currently being held at the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office McKinleyville Substation. Residents receiving mail within the 8200 and 9400 block of West End Road, in addition to residents on Dutch Lane and Barley Lane, who believe they had mail stolen should contact the McKinleyville station at 707-839-6600 to inquire whether their mail has been recovered.
Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.