Iowa Mail Carrier Charged With Stealing Receipts and Rebates
An eastern Iowa mail carrier is facing charges after authorities say she took customer receipts being sent in for rebates and, if that wasn't bad enough, took actual rebates too.
33-year-old Kami Stephens (she recently changed her name from Kami Fry, according to Our Quad Cities) of Wapello pleaded not guilty last month to an April charge that she used a stolen Menards rebate credit check worth more than $200 at Menards in Muscatine. Stephens was charged with fifth-degree theft.
In late May, Stephens was again charged with fifth-degree theft, this time after an investigation by Wapello police and the U.S. Postal Service. According to Our Quad Cities, USPS Special Agent Mike Vinzant had a Menards employee run rebates that were issued to Stephens's address. That's where things get really ugly.
A rebate that went to Stephens's home came from receipts from three different people. She had not made a purchase with the rebate. The arrest affidavit, acquired by Our Quad Cities says, “This confirms the suspicion of her taking receipts out of the mail and passing them off as her own."
Later during the investigation, the Menards employee told Vinzant another rebate had been sent to Stephens, once again on another person's receipt. That rebate was used on May 15. Surveillance video showed a woman matching Stephens' description buying two flowerpots along with mulch, using the rebate. Video also showed her getting into a vehicle later found at Stephens' home.
When officers pulled up to Stephens' residence three days later, a flowerpot out front of her home matched one of those purchased on May 15. Stephens confirmed that both she and her vehicle were in the surveillance video. She "denied any fault or participation in the use of the check," according to the arrest affidavit. However, the affidavit also shows that authorities say Stephens was concerned that "... she is going to lose her job and asked when I was going to tell them."
Stephens has been charged with two additional fifth-degree theft charges. She's due in court again on August 4.