Ex-postal worker charged with stealing mail - KCTV5

Ex-postal worker charged with stealing mail

BLUE SPRINGS, MO (KCTV) -

A former postal employee faces federal charges after being accused of stealing not just DVDs but hundreds of personal letters and cards.

When DVDs were not making it to and from the a large movie rental company Netflix, company officials contacted the Office of Inspector General, who then concentrated an investigation in two Kansas City, MO, zip codes: 64151 and 64155.

Soon the Inspector General zeroed in on one of its own.

"Netflix reached out to the postal service to indicate that in a particular set of zip codes they had received an abnormally high number of losses," said US attorney for the Western district of Missouri Beth Phillips.  "We inspected the trash the defendant placed in front of his house and found it contained a large number of mail not addressed to him."

Filipe Lara, 35, was a postman from June of 2009 through February of this year.

In a search warrant of Lara's Blue Springs home, authorities found trash bags full of mail along with gifts cards believed to have been swiped from the stolen mail.

Authorities said more than $2,500 worth of property never made it to where it was supposed to go, but that is just what they know of so far.

While the monetary value might not seem like much, authorities said Lara stole more than property, he stole the public's trust in the post office.

"It's is very important to ensure sanctity of mail, and anytime there is the theft of mail, we take it seriously and investigate thoroughly," said Philips.

Lara faces a maximum of $250,000 and up to five years in prison if convicted.

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