A Western Union telegram from Reno, Nev., addressed to an Emma Gonzalez of San Francisco and signed by Minnie and Fred was found among stolen mail from San Carlos.
A precious piece of history took longer to deliver than the Ciolino family expected.
In November, the daughter of Emma Starr, previously of San Francisco, was going through her mother’s things. She came across some mail from 1938 that she thought her cousins would enjoy — a telegram and postcard from Minnie and Fred Ciolino about their impromptu trip to Reno during Christmastime to elope. However, the mail never arrived. She mailed it to her cousin, Gail Curran. Recently, thanks to the police and media attention, the family has found the missing mail.
San Carlos resident Christine Anderson, another daughter to Fred and Minnie, said the family wondered what happened but then got busy with the holidays.
The letter had been mailed, but it had also, unfortunately, been stolen. Mail theft in San Carlos recently resulted in police finding thousands of pieces of undelivered mail in the carrier’s car and San Bruno home. Many of the pieces of mail are slowly being returned to either the sender or intended recipient.
Daly City police Sr. Detective Joe Bocci was struck by a 1938 Western Union telegram from Reno, Nev. that reads, "Arrived safely, no snow but real cold nice trip be back Monday Merry Xmas to all. Minnie & Fred.”
Stories about the 74-year-old piece of mail hit local newspapers Wednesday. By mid-morning, Bocci had a call from Anderson.
"The right thing is done,” he said about the family being reunited with their history.
The telegram came before a postcard which announced that the two had eloped. The postcard has also been lost. Bocci hopes it will be found in the thousands of loose pieces of mail at the post office related to the case.
Prosecutors say Romeo Maniuli Natan, 38, of San Bruno, stole thousands of pieces of mail and was found with more than 3,000 undelivered pieces at his home when arrested last month, according prosecutors. Most of the thefts occurred in the Devonshire Avenue area of San Carlos. He is scheduled to a preliminary hearing Feb. 5.
Last week, Edgar Suing Guinto, 41, pleaded no contest to commercial burglary and identity theft. He will receive no prison and up to a year in the county jail when sentenced Jan. 31.
Natan allegedly gave stolen credit cards for use to Guinto, Marlo Tubig Lacsamana, 41, and Joel Pineda Lugtu, 31. The other two men will have a hearing Jan. 9.
Natan, Lacsamana and Lugtu are in custody in lieu of $150,000. Guinto is held on $100,000 bail.
Heather Murtagh can be reached by email: email@example.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105.