Florida postman arrested and charged with stealing money from greeting cards
A Florida mail carrier stole about 4,000 pieces of mail, almost all of them greeting cards from a retirement community, looking for money in a month-long string of thefts uncovered by her own parents, her parents said Friday. authorities.
Miranda Delee Farleigh, 25, admitted “she had a heroin addiction and that addiction caused her criminal behavior”, according to a complaint written by US Postal Inspector David Keith.
Farleigh, a mail carrier under contract with the USPS for six years, worked out of Lady Lake with a route that included The Villages retirement community, officials said.
Farleigh’s mother, also a contract letter carrier, told the Lady Lake Postmaster in late November that she found “several bins and bags of ‘mail’ that ‘had been searched (illegally opened)’ in her daughter’s bedroom , wrote Keith.
Defendant’s father is also a USPS contracted carrier and both parents found more mail stolen from daughter’s car before mother ‘relieved Miranda Farleigh of postal duties and secured mail recovered,” according to the complaint.
“Miranda Farleigh admitted to me that she searched mail containing greeting cards in order to steal change and/or gift cards,” according to Keith. “Farleigh confessed that while working in an official capacity as a letter carrier, she targeted outgoing mail dropped off by residents of The Villages.”
The court document revealed no estimate of the amount of cash or gift cards that might have been taken.
“The magnitude (of amounts, etc.) of the theft is part of an ongoing investigation,” Tampa-based U.S. Attorney spokesman William Daniels said in a statement.
In the criminal complaint, Keith cited interviews with seven residents of The Villages whose mail was allegedly stolen by Farleigh.
One of the victims, identified by the initials RD, had 13 pieces of scratched mail that were allegedly found in Farleigh’s car.
“RD reported that five pieces of mail to RD’s grandchildren each contained $20 cash inside the envelopes,” Keith wrote. “When recovered, the couriers no longer contained the change.”
Farleigh’s defense attorney and her parents did not immediately return messages to NBC News on Friday, seeking comment.
She was accused of stealing mail by a postal service employee and faces up to five years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.
Helen Kwong contributed.