Thief steals gift cards, cash from piles of mail

Thief steals gift cards, cash from piles of mail

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by Chris Willis, KGW Unit 8 Reporter

kgw.com

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 10 at 8:04 PM

LEBANON, Ore. – Some residents of Lebanon, Ore. may be missing Christmas cards after police found nearly 1,000 pieces of mail at a postal employee’s house.

Lebanon police said the seasonal worker at the post office stole hundreds of pieces of mail and was hiding then in his home and car. They suspected he was trying to confiscate gift cards and cash.

The suspect, 28-year old Shane Benson, was arrested and charged with 41 counts of mail fraud, which is a Class C Felony.

Police said Benson was hired as a seasonal worker to help with the post office’s holiday rush and for weeks was stealing mail. They said there could be hundreds of victims and they’re now trying to get the mail marked as evidence and then delivered to its rightful owners.

Benson was arrested while at work at the post office.

“He had several gift cards and a decent amount of cash on him [at the time of his arrest] and so that was definitely the motivation,” said Detective Justin McCubbins of the Lebanon Police Department.

There were 41 counts of mail theft from two victims, police said.

“One victim had 40 pieces of mail the other victim was the Lebanon Police Department,” McCubbins said. “We sent out a thank you card to somebody here in town and we found that in the mail that he had stolen, so we are one of the other victims.”

More charges are likely. Police said with close to a thousand pieces of stolen mail, there are 300 to 400 estimated victims.

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