Albuquerque woman facing prison for stealing from mailboxes

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – An Albuquerque woman is facing up to a five-year sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing mail.

Prosecutors say 36-year-old JoAnn Bell of Albuquerque had a change of plea hearing Thursday in federal court.

Bell was arrested last September.

She was accused of stealing mail from U.S. Postal Service mail collection boxes outside of the post offices in Albuquerque.

Prosecutors say Bell used a device she fed into the mailbox to “fish” mail out.

Bell was arrested after authorities found her asleep with the device and stolen mail in her lap in a vehicle parked outside a post office.

Her sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled, but prosecutors say Bell faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.