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A lot of times, when a criminal realizes the police are on their tail, they make a run for it.  They sprint through yards, hop fences, but they rarely (if ever) stop drop and snore.

But this week, the Santa Monica Police Department said they arrested an alleged letter-snatcher after he did just that.  Mail theft is a very big deal, they said, and a suspect can't just sleep things off and pretend like the crime didn't happen.

Officers said they were tipped off about the letter burglar earlier last month.  The caller said someone had been pilfering things from their mailbox and was hoping the SMPD could look into it.

Police dispatch personnel were provided with the thief's description; they spotted him a short time later.  That's when the man hit the ground and pretended to be in a deep slumber.

The officers didn't buy it for a second.  Instead, they walked over and "woke" the sleeping letter snatcher up.  As soon as they realized he had several pieces of stolen mail on his person, the SMPD knew they had their guy.

The 44 year-old suspect was arrested on the spot and was taken to the Santa Monica Jail to start the booking process.  His bail bonds were set at $20,000.

Read the full story here:  Santa Monica resident arrested for stealing mail from mailboxes