Did Lake Worth police just help crack a large-scale mail theft ring in North Texas?

Lake Worth police arrested two men Tuesday who they believe are connected to large-scale thefts of mail across Dallas-Fort Worth.

Police Chief Chief J.T. Manoushagian said his department used undercover officers to watch mail boxes outside Lake Worth’s post office after it learned thieves had just stolen mail in Fort Worth.

The suspects, wearing ski masks, ran when police surrounded their car after it pulled up to the mail boxes, the chief said. Albert Pierre Cannon, 29, of DeSoto, and Terrell Antone Sauls, 28, of San Diego, were arrested. Police recovered three bins of mail in their car, Manoushagian said.

Police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service have been tracking a string of “widespread” mail thefts across the Metroplex since this summer, Manoushagian said. He said thieves have targeted the blue boxes outside post offices. Police received a tip on Tuesday from U.S. postal inspectors.

“We would like to thank the US Postal Inspection Service for their partnership, and for working with us to preserve the holiday spirit in Lake Worth, and all of North Texas,” Lake Worth police said in a statement.

Paul Eckert, of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Fort Worth Division, said his office could not comment on the ongoing investigation. He said the theft of a single piece of mail can result in five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.