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Four people were arrested on suspicion of stealing hundreds of pieces of mail from mailboxes in Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Torrance and Costa Mesa, police said Feb. 7.

At around 11:45 p.m. on Feb. 6, officers stopped a car with two women coming from a hotel near Torrance Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway in Redondo Beach, police said.

During the stop, officers searched the car, Redondo Beach Police Sgt. John Anderson said.

“They found numerous items of mail belonging to other people,” he said, in addition to a fishing tool used to drop into mailboxes to steal mail.

As officers investigated the two women and the vehicle, they learned that two men were back at the hotel they were staying at, Anderson said. When officers went to the hotel room, they found several hundred pieces of mail, he said.

“They had a lot of personal identification information of people,” Anderson said.

Among the stolen mail, police found the suspects had washed checks using brake fluid and then rewrote different names and amounts on them, he said.

Officers began to call victims Friday morning, who spanned across the four cities, Anderson said. It wasn’t clear for how long the mail stealing spree had been going, but one piece of mail from Costa Mesa was dated from several days earlier, he said.

Contact Lisa Jacobs or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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