The postal worker in Omaha pleads guilty to stealing gift cards and cash from the post office

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A former US Postal Service employee in Omaha has admitted stealing gift cards and cash from the post office.

Austin Thomas, 30, faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to the theft of mail when he was convicted in July.

Prosecutors said 216 victims lost a total of at least $ 5,829 in thefts that took place at the West Omaha Post while Thomas was working there between September 2019 and January 2020.

The investigation began when a city official informed the police that he found several mail bags in a trash can. The mail was not processed, but opened.

Court documents cited three cases where mailbags were found in Omaha:

  • September 2019: A postman found a bag containing 36 open greeting cards with return addresses, mainly in West Omaha.
  • December 18, 2019: A city worker called the police after finding multiple mail bags in a trash can in Norwick Park. The mail was unprocessed but searched and 126 greeting cards with West Omaha return addresses were found. Federal agents contacted the senders of the cards, many responding that they had left the cards at the West Omaha Postal Service Station.
  • December 26, 2019: A citizen found two bags of mail – including 96 cards – in a trash can in Norwick Park that had again been unprocessed but ransacked. It appeared that gift cards and cash had been removed and personal checks left behind. Those who replied said they sent them from the same West Omaha station as well.

Documents also showed that one of the Visa gift cards was being used to make purchases at Westroads Mall and that the store was able to identify the customer not only from a surveillance video, but also from using his loyalty card.

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6 messages contributed to this report.

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