Mail theft--it's a crime we sometimes hear about in larger cities, and it appears small towns are no exception. A Middlebury postal worker is charged with stealing mail, after 21,000 pieces of undelivered mail were found in her home.
As you can imagine, this incident has customers infuriated. Officials say the suspect letter carrier was arrested on May 19th and resigned on Tuesday. Officials with the Postal Inspector's Office say she's facing federal charges for stealing mail. It appears the crime went on for at least a year.
Residents in Middlebury reacted to this breach of trust. “We started noticing some important documents were missing. My husband's gun license didn't come and didn't come... and I had a contract that never showed up and I called and they said ‘we mailed it,’” explains Candace Kaminsky.
Kaminsky wasn't alone. Others complained and Middlebury's postal officials looked into it. What they found shocked them. 21,000 letters and packages, inside the letter carrier’s home. “It seemed to be a lot of everything. Don't understand the logic behind it, very sad,” says Jan Ostrom, Middlebury’s Officer in Charge.
To help sort through the mess, the post office brought in extra employees to re-deliver the thousands of pieces of mail. They say there's so much it's comparable to a holiday season. “It's like Christmas time at the post office. We've been known to work on Sundays, we do whatever it takes,” says Elizabeth Spencer, a postal worker called in to help out.
The post office started delivering the old mail this week. They’re hoping to get done by the end of the week.
While some customers know they're missing mail, others aren't so sure.
Middlebury residents are now preparing themselves, as they might have quite a load on their hands next time they check the mailbox. “If they couldn't have handled the mail, they should have said this is too much, I need some help,” adds Kaminsky.
The Middlebury Post Office is asking their customers for patience as they work to get this problem resolved. The worker charged faces up to five years in prison and/or $250,000 in fines.
It’s unclear if any of the mail was taken out of the envelopes or packages. However, it appears most of it was left in the packaging, as the post office was able to re-deliver it.