Man accused of using counterfeit key to break into mailboxes

Criminal complaint: Man said he found way to make master key online


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE)  It’s a crime that seems to be happening more and more. Thieves are breaking into mailboxes and swiping people’s mail.

It turns out the crime itself may be getting easier and easier. Some people, like Rio Rancho resident Steve Dorney, are starting to wonder how safe his community mailbox is.

“Well, typically you usually have junk mail, you always have something in the mail. I’ve had nothing for the past three days,” said Dorney.

An arrest made this week might explain that. Police say 36-year-old Jeremy Lara was caught stealing mail from this very neighborhood.

According to a criminal complaint, police caught on to Lara after someone saw him and two others stealing mail in Albuquerque.

Rio Rancho police later arrested him right in front of one of the mailboxes, saying both the main doors were open and the stolen mail in his hands.

Police then searched the car he was in where they found more mail, and a counterfeit U.S. Postal Service key.

Investigators say Lara admitted to stealing mail from a handful of community mailboxes, saying he was able to make the key using a template he found on the internet.

That has some people concerned.

“It’s just, it’s hard to comprehend how someone could just go on the internet and make a key and steal mail,” said Sharon Wright, who lives in the neighborhood where the mail was allegedly stolen.

Others, like Dorney, say they aren’t shocked.

“Well there is a lot of stuff you can find online now a days though so I’m not surprised I guess. I mean, people always seem to be out to get whatever they can for free,” said Dorney.

People who lived in the area where the mail was stolen wanted to know if there was some way of getting all that mail back.

KRQE News 13 reached out to the USPS today for answers but did not hear back.

Lara is now federally charged with stealing mail. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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