ONTARIO — A 36-year-old Boise man is currently lodged in the Malheur County Jail, where he was booked on 14 felony charges following his arrest on May 23 for suspicion of breaking into post office boxes in the Ontario Post Office.
David Daniel Pero was remanded into custody on a $100,000 security following his pre-arraignment on May 24 in front of Malheur County Circuit Court Judge Lung Hung, who also appointed Gary Kiyuna as council for Pero.
According to a news release on Wednesday from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the investigation began by Postal Inspectors and the Ontario Police Department after multiple break-ins were reported in March.
Upon interviewing victims, investigators “identified suspects negotiating checks stolen from Ontario Post Office PO Boxes.”
Ontario Police caught up with Pero during a traffic stop in May, when he was seen parked in front of the Ontario Post Office “late in the evening,” according to the release. Body cam footage from the traffic stop was compared to footage from a video of a person breaking into the PO boxes just 15 minutes police stopped Pero. Investigators noticed several similarities in clothing, the release states.
As such, a search warrant was obtained, and postal inspectors and OPD officers found “evidence linking Pero” to the break-ins.
Police and postal inspectors are continuing their investigation. It is currently unknown how much victims lost in checks or goods, however, there is currently $2,789 listed in restitution for three victims.
The mother of one of the victims reached out to the newspaper on Friday, stating that her “disabled daughter lost close to, if not more than, $1,000 in merchandise paid for from her disability money in this incident that spanned more than one weekend.
“She is extremely depressed over this, as she is not only out the merchandise, she is out the money it took to buy these items,” she wrote.
A grand jury indicted Pero on 14 charges on May 27 and he was arraigned on that indictment on May 28 by Hung. According to court records, Pero faces four counts of burglary in the first degree, a class A felony; and 10 class C felonies, including one count of criminal mischief in the first degree, five counts of mail theft or receipt of stolen mail, one count of identity theft, two counts of forgery in the first degree and one count of theft in the first degree. Charges indicate those crimes happened on or around March 10, March 17, April 6, May 11, May 12, May 14 and May 17.
According to Idaho court records, Pero has a lengthy history of appearances in Idaho courts for various charges, including multiple felony charges for possession of controlled substances
A plea hearing is slated for Pero on June 16.