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Notorious Fresno Mailbox Thief Gets One Year in Federal Lockup

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One of Fresno’s most notorious thieves in recent memory is headed to federal prison for one year and a day.

U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd sentenced Justin Deger, 28, Thursday for credit card fraud and possessing stolen mail.

Booking photo of Justin Deger of Fresno, California

— Justin Deger

Deger Stole More Than 2,000 Pieces of Mail

According to court documents, Deger broke into mailboxes at Fresno residences and stole more than 2,000 pieces of mail. His haul over a four-month crime spree included checks and 26 credit cards.

When Fresno police apprehended Deger in late March of last year, the department held a news conference to announce the arrest. At that time, Fresno Police Capt. Burke Farrah estimated that Deger had stolen mail from 500 people.

Used Stolen Credit Cards at Stores and Casinos

Court documents show that Deger activated some of the credit cards, made unauthorized purchases and cash withdrawals totaling thousands of dollars at local stores and casinos.

Fresno Police Capt. Burke Farrah estimated that Deger had stolen mail from 500 people.

As part of a plea agreement Deger made in February, he agreed to pay full restitution to the victims and forfeit the proceeds of his crimes.

Postal Service Assisted in the Case

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Fresno Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vincente Tennerelli and Joseph Barton were the prosecutors.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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