Postman Responsible for Stolen Mail, Other Valuable Items (18 United States Code 1708)

Have you ever wondered what happened to that expensive watch you ordered, your new passport, or the special item that you bought on eBay?  One man working for the postal service may have wanted you to believe that these things were ‘lost in the mail’ when he was really keeping them for himself.  52-year-old Saratoga man  (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) was once a valued supervisor, a well respected postal inspector.  However, he has recently been arrested for having stolen valuables in his possession, ones that fell out of boxes and envelopes that went through his postal station.  He has been arrested for stealing the mail.

As his employees have it, he would ask them to turn in any items that were loose at the facility, things that had simply fallen out of broken boxes or torn packaging.  They thought, because he told them as much, that he was attempting to return these items to their rightful owners.  Video surveillance told USPS agents that this was not the case.  They say that he kept these items for himself and sold them or kept them for his personal use.  The kinds of items were varied; there was everything from jewelry to marijuana to old and valuable Playboy magazines.

Most people know that it is a federal crime to interfere with the mail, especially if you steal items that were sent via mail.  18 United States Code 1708 (“Theft or receipt of stolen mail matter generally”) states that no one can steal mail from post offices, postal stations, letter boxes, mail boxes, or from mail carriers without serious consequences.  The penalty is 5 years in federal prison and a fine for each count.