West Salem man arrested with fake mailbox keys

A SWAT team negotiated with a man for almost seven hours outside his west Salem home on Monday before arresting him as part of a longtime investigation into local mail theft.

Prosecutors charged Brett T. Regimbal, 49, on Tuesday in Polk County Circuit Court with identity theft and possession of a burglary tool or theft device, according to court records.

Police searched Regimbal’s home on Northwest 14th Avenue and found counterfeit mail keys and a fake driver’s license, which showed his face alongside the name of another real person, according to a Salem Police Department affidavit.

Officers had a warrant to search the home near Glen Creek Park and Regimbal’s car based on the mail theft accusations as well as an unrelated domestic violence investigation.

The Salem police SWAT team responded to search the home and arrest Regimbal “due to firearms concerns” in several previous investigations involving him, the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

Regimbal did not exit the house. After Salem police’s crisis negotiations team tried to communicate with him for seven hours, officers sent a police dog into the home which bit Regimbal. He was subsequently arrested, according to the statement.

Police in searching the house also found small amounts of methamphetamine and a substance they suspected was fentanyl. 

Regimbal was medically cleared for the dog bite and booked into the Polk County Jail, where he was being held as of Tuesday afternoon, the jail’s roster showed.

He was also charged on Friday with strangulation constituting domestic violence.

Regimbal had outstanding warrants out of Marion and Yamhill counties related to charges of first-degree forgery, first-degree theft, identity theft, two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, mail theft and attempted coercion.

He has previous felony convictions dating back to 1993 including identity theft, aggravated first-degree theft, strangulation and fourth-degree assault. 

Regimbal is the second person arrested in recent weeks as part of a nearly two-year investigation into mail theft in the Salem area.

Police on March 25 searched the south Salem apartment of Ross B. Sierzega, 33, and seized two lock cores taken from multi-address mail boxes, several counterfeit mail box keys and tools used to make them, multiple checks, bank cards, financial documents not in Sierzega’s name and about 30 pounds of mail. They found mail stolen from over 200 people, Salem police said at the time.

Salem residents who have been victims of mail theft are asked to report to police as well as the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “Proactive measures to prevent mail theft are also encouraged through the use of notifications for standard mail and package delivery services,” Salem police said in their statement.

The police agency recently created a webpage people can use to retrieve their personal documents. Salem residents who believe their mail may have been stolen can check if their names are on the list of victims police have identified. Those whose names are listed can complete a form to start the process of getting their documents back.


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Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.