Courts

Feds: Carmichael man bought cars with personal information he found in stolen mail

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — US Postal Inspectors this week arrested a 37-year-old Carmichael man suspected of stealing envelopes and packages, using personal identifying information found within to fund the fraudulent purchase of several cars.

Investigators say Roderick Wayne Rigmaiden has led a mail theft scheme for the past three months, using stolen information to open bank accounts in the names of unsuspecting victims, using some to log in to existing ones, all with a final goal of using the ill-gotten gains to purchase sedans and sports cars.

Rigmaiden was booked on one count of theft or receipt of stolen U.S. Mail, a federal offense that can land him behind bars for a maximum term of five years. He has yet to be formally charged through a criminal information or a grand jury indictment.

A detention hearing has been set for the fifth after Rigmaiden made his initial appearance before a federal judge last week, with a preliminary exam scheduled for the 14th.

According to court documents unsealed with Rigmaiden’s arrest, an investigation into the alleged scheme was launched in mid-March after a supervisor at the Carmichael Post Office forwarded surveillance footage of a mail theft to the USPIS.

The video, dated March 8, 2022, allegedly shows a White Dodge Challenger with a paper license plate park near the cluster mailboxes at the Heritage Oaks Apartments on McClain Way. Out of it steps a white man and a Black man, the latter of whom enters the apartment’s office, exits with a postal service key, and unlocks the mailbox. The individual took several pieces of mail and put them in the Dodge Challenger.

PHOTO: US District Court filings

Investigators were unable to trace the men using the license plate number on the Challenger, but say they positively ID’d the Black man as Rigmaiden because he has been the subject of several previous probes into stolen mail. A Postal Inspector who wrote an affidavit in support of Rigmaiden’s arrest did not expand on that identification.

Two days later, court papers allege, the group struck again. Rigmaiden, an unknown woman, and two unknown men entered the Heritage Oaks complex, removing mail from a mailbox using a USPS key. They placed it in a bag held by the unknown woman, and Rigmaiden placed the bag in the Dodge Challenger.

During the robbery on the 11th, an investigator writes, the Challenger had a new license plate registered to a woman with the initials A.F. The woman had no connection to Rigmaiden and is a victim of stolen identity, according to them.

“Through a check of Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) records and USPIS databases, I determined A.F. to be a victim and found no further information associating her to RIGMAIDEN or [Rigmaiden’s address],” US Postal Inspector Heather Walker wrote.

On March 26th, a third robbery occurred. A witness told authorities that he saw the white Challenger pull up next to a mail truck on Berksford street. Rigmaiden allegedly hopped out, entered the mail truck using a key, and removed mail.

The witness told authorities he often saw the Challenger parked on Ashcroft Avenue, and investigators later determined Rigmaiden lived at a home on the street with his wife. Two drive-by surveillance runs of the home resulted in the discovery of several cars parked in the driveway, including the white Challenger.

Later, in April, the mailboxes for several apartment buildings on Marconi Avenue were burglarized. Investigators rummaged through the trash at Rigmaiden’s home, recovering credit cards, burned mail addressed to Marconi Avenue, a license plate, and a postal worker’s uniform with the name “Michael” embroidered on it.

During the final alleged burglary addressed in court papers, a woman told law enforcement she saw a Black man enter her husband’s mail truck during his lunch break, removing mail and placing them in a white Challenger. Investigators say the Challenger had the same license plate as the Heritage Oaks robbery and identified the driver as Rigmaiden through surveillance video.

Rigmaiden allegedly used stolen personal information from the mail to buy a green Dodge Challenger and a 2019 Ford Fusion, both of which were registered in the names of unsuspecting people.

Rigmaiden’s wife, Onjale Nettles, allegedly submitted her driver’s license in a vehicle purchase application used for one of the cars. She hasn’t been arrested or charged with any crime.

Ethan Biando
Ethan Biando is a freelance journalist from Sacramento. His writing focuses on crime, courts, and policing. Find him on Twitter @ethanb822

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