Published at PO Box 96 124 W. St. Clair Romeo, MI 48065. Phone: (586)752-3524 Fax: (586)752-0548
Updated Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 03/13/13
Romeo postal worker
caught stealing from mail
Investigators use fake envelope
to catch rural route worker
by CHRIS GRAYA Romeo Post Office worker has been arrested for stealing gift cards out of mail she was supposed to deliver.
Observer Staff Writer
Cynthia Winters is being charged with stealing U.S. mail in the U.S. District Court after confessing to investigators that she stole 20 items. The felony charge carries a fine and/or five year imprisonment.
Suspicions arose when the U.S. Post Office of Inspector General investigated complaints from customers in Ray Township about items not reaching their destinations.
Albert Glentz, a Ray Township resident, said he mailed out several cards containing $50 BP gas gift cards in December, but three of those cards never made it to their destination.
He said he went online and checked the status of those cards and discovered they were all used at the BP gas station in Romeo, a block south of the post office.
"I called BP and dealt with them, and they told me how much was spent on food and fuel there," he said.
Kenneth Krenkel, a Fenton resident, complained about two $100 gift cards he mailed from his father's home in Ray Township in December. Krenkel told investigators when the mail arrived at its destination the envelope was torn open with the contents missing. He discovered one of the cards was used at a Target on 26 Mile Road.
Federal investigators reviewed surveillance footage from Target and identified a woman matching Winters' appearance, and confirmed it with the Romeo Post Office.
Investigators noted both customers were on Winters' route, and on Feb. 13 gave the post office a test letter marked "U.S. currency" that would be placed in her mail. The envelope contained a device that alerted investigators when it was opened.
The device activated the following day, prompting federal agents to pull over Winters' vehicle at the Romeo Ford Engine Plant. They confronted her about the test envelope and missing items, and she eventually confessed to taking around 20 items in total.
According to court documentation, Winters told the agents "I have six kids and 17 grandchildren. I don't have anything to give them so I would look for the gift cards and cash inside the mail."
Winters indicated her remorse and said she would pay restitution to the customers, and agreed to resign from her position.
Glentz, a retired Ford worker, said he saves up all year to buy gift cards for his family. He said after his initial shock he was sad the entire event happened.
"If you're hurting for money you buy something less for your grandkids, and if they don't like it, tough luck," he said. "Or, you could give 'em a gift card and let 'em go buy what they want."
The Romeo Post Office declined to comment on the incident.