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Passenger in rental truck arrested under suspicion of stealing mail

Whatcom County Sheriff's Office vehicle (February 16, 2017). Photo: My Ferndale News
Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office vehicle (February 16, 2017). Photo: My Ferndale News

FERNDALE, Wash. — A white rental truck impounded and subsequently searched was found to contain over 80 pieces of mail from 31 different addresses and more. As a result, a passenger in the truck was arrested on multiple charges.

A report was received on December 31, 2020 of a person or persons in a white rental truck seen stealing mail around Zell Road and Woodland Road. Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded and stopped the vehicle according to WCSO Spokesperson Deb Slater. Slater said the passenger was identified as Justin Florence, age 41, of Ferndale.

The truck was impounded while deputies investigated the report. Slater said a search warrant was issued and a search of the inside of the truck found the following.

  • over 80 pieces of mail from 31 different addresses
  • 2 credit cards
  • blank checks
  • a forged check
  • stolen Washington State driver’s licenses
  • other items involving financial fraud

As a result, probable cause to arrest Florence on suspicion of numerous charges was established.

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Ferndale Police contacted Florence yesterday, January 7th, while investigating a crime in which he was not considered a suspect according to City of Ferndale Communications Officer Riley Sweeney. They arrested Florence when they learned of the WCSO’s probable cause and booked him into Whatcom County Jail, according to Slater, charged with suspicion of:

  • 2 counts of forgery
  • 2 counts of identity theft
  • 13 counts of 2nd-degree theft of more than $750 and less than $5,000
  • 8 counts of mail theft
  • 2 counts of financial fraud

Jail records indicate Florence remained in custody as of this morning.

Florence was out on bail while awaiting trial in Whatcom County Superior Court in multiple cases in which he is facing charges that include:

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  • multiple counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription
  • possession of methamphetamine
  • bail jumping
  • driving while his license was suspended
  • reckless driving
  • ignition interlock device violation

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