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Press Release

Mail thief who stole postal vehicles and mailbox keys sentenced to 3+ years in prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Defendant caused hardship for many; Was caught with 9mm Polymer ‘ghost gun’

Seattle – A man who committed a series of mail vehicle and mail key thefts was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 41 months in prison for theft of government property, mail theft, illegal transactions on access devices, and illegally possessing a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Johny Mixayboua, 27, committed a string of mail theft incidents involving stolen postal vehicles, stolen postal keys, mail theft and associated crimes. The postal service had to halt deliveries in the zip code 98118 for about a week while investigators worked to track down and arrest Mixayboua. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court by Judge Richard A. Jones said, “You had opportunities to look at your past and look at your future. You have failed to take advantage of the opportunities provided along the way to change your future…As you grow and mature, you will see all the years wasted engaged in criminal activity.”

“Mr. Mixayboua’s thefts caused widespread hardship – especially for the elderly and disabled who were suddenly forced to line up at the post office to get their mail,” said U.S. Attorney Gorman. “The theft of checks and credit cards caused harm to those hit with fraudulent charges. But even those who did not suffer theft were impacted. Individuals who relied on the mail for medication, medical supplies, food, and financial documents, were asked to physically come into the post office to pick up their mail because they had to shut down service due to the defendant’s actions.”

“Mail theft and identity theft remains a plague in our communities. Mixayboua’s thefts victimized numerous U.S. Postal Service customers throughout the Seattle area, but through our partnerships with local law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we were able to shut down this prolific mail thief,” said Inspector in Charge Anthony Galetti, “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service remains steadfast in our commitment to ensure the U.S. mail remains safe and secure for all members of our community.”

According to records in the case, on December 28, 2022, a U.S. Postal Service vehicle was stolen from the 6300 block of South Bangor Street in Seattle. In the vehicle was a postal key that is used to access the cluster mailbox units in the 98178 zip code. The key allows the postal worker to open the back of the cluster box to deliver mail to multiple households. Since the theft of the vehicle and postal key, there had been numerous reports of cluster boxes in zip code 98178 being opened and mail stolen.

Working with neighbors, the Postal Inspection Service was able to get door camera footage showing the person accessing the postal boxes. Neighbors reported credit cards being stolen and attempts being made to use them. Inspectors were able to review images from when the credit card attempts occurred and ultimately identified Mixayboua as the person stealing the mail and attempting to use the stolen credit cards.

Additionally, local law enforcement determined that vehicles used in a number of the mail theft incidents were reported stolen.

On January 17, 2023, two more Postal Service vehicles were stolen. One in the 3000 block of Beach Drive SW and a second one in the 3600 block of 57th SW. Both are in zip code 98116. Using doorbell camera footage from the block where one of the vehicles was recovered, investigators saw Mixayboua removing mail and parcels from the stolen postal vehicle and putting them in another vehicle. Again, law enforcement traced credit cards stolen from the mail and obtained surveillance footage that appears to show Mixayboua attempting to make purchases with the credit cards.

On January 30, 2023, a fourth postal vehicle was stolen – this time from the 2000 block of S. Columbian Way in Seattle. On March 28, 2023, a fifth postal vehicle was stolen from the 5700 block of S. 129th Ave. One of the people associated with the theft matched the description of Mixayboua. In late January and February, the mail theft incidents continued -- this time in the Snoqualmie, Washington area. The cluster boxes were opened with either a counterfeit or authentic postal key. Again, credit cards were stolen, and one was linked to images of Mixayboua making purchases at Target.

Throughout April, mail thefts continued from as far north as Lake Forest Park and as far south as southeast Seattle.

The postal service halted deliveries in zip code 98118 for about a week while investigators worked to track down and arrest Mixayboua.

Mixaboua apparently was living in a vehicle near a relative’s home. He was arrested after running from officers. Law enforcement found a Polymer unregistered firearm – known as a ‘ghost gun’ - that Mixayboua threw into the bushes while attempting to run away. Mixayboua is prohibited from possessing firearms due to multiple felony convictions in King County for auto theft, possession of stolen property, and bail jumping.

In asking for a 41-month prison sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Elyne Vaught wrote to the court, “Beginning in December of 2022 up to his arrest in May of 2023, the defendant, Johny Mixayboua’s full-time job was to use stolen postal keys to steal mail from the residents of King County, leaving a trail of financial and sentimental loss along the way. As the thefts increased, the United States Postal Service made the difficult decision to shut down mail service to an entire zip code, requiring residents, including the elderly and disabled, to physically come into the office to pick up their mail.”

This case was investigated by U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elyne Vaught.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated March 8, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Identity Theft