The hunt is on to catch two men in connection with a rare federal crime committed on city streets.
Someone stole a U.S. Postal Service truck in a north Tracy neighborhood and crashed it into a home on Cabrillo Drive on Wednesday morning.
Police Lt. Tony Matuska said a mail carrier stopped in the area of Holly and Laguna drives and stepped out of the truck to make a delivery a short distance away, leaving the keys inside. Two people, both male, jumped into the truck and sped off.
They headed east on Laguna Drive, veered to the right onto the sidewalk and struck a section of rock landscaping. The truck continued across the T intersection where Laguna meets Cabrillo Drive and jumped the curb, crossing the front lawn of a home on the 3200 block of Cabrillo and crashing through the side wall of the garage.
Sgt. Craig Kootstra of Tracy Police Department said no one was at home, but the residents had been notified about the crash.
The two people who took the truck were last seen running north on Cabrillo. Police officers searched the area and did not find them.
Kootstra said the police called Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to turn off the gas service, as officers were unsure whether the impact had dislodged the water heater or broken the gas line.
City code enforcement officers were also called to examine the home. One wall of the garage was badly damaged by the truck’s impact.
Augustine Ruiz, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman, said Wednesday afternoon that he was aware of the theft and crash of the mail truck in Tracy.
“Stealing a truck is an extremely rare occurrence,” he said. “They are so conspicuous.”
Ruiz also said leaving the keys in the truck was not normal procedure.
“We need to investigate to see if that is what happened,” he said. “It is not protocol. If they (drivers) need to dismount, they are told to lock the door and take the keys.”
Any theft involving the mail is a federal crime, Ruiz said, and postal inspectors will investigate what happened.
“We have our own safety team when that occurs to get a complete investigation of where and how it took place,” Ruiz said.
Matuska said that as of Wednesday afternoon, no one had been arrested.
Anonymous tips about the theft can be left with Tracy Crime Stoppers by calling 831-4872 or texting TIPTPD with a message to 274637. Tips can also be submitted online.