Crime & Courts

Former South Carolina Postal Worker Convicted Of Stealing Mail

Greeting card bandit found guilty …

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A federal jury found a 37-year-old Gaffney, South Carolina woman guilty of stealing mail earlier this month.

Evidence presented at trial revealed former U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee Takera A. Degree was caught on camera intercepting and absconding with greeting cards and other items that came through the Gaffney, S.C. post office. Other postal workers noticed her strange behavior – and their concerns prompted special agents to install covert cameras at the post office in the hopes of catching Degree in the act.

Degree was employed at the facility from October 2022 to March 2023. During that six-month span, the USPS inspector general received complaints from about 100 customers regarding “greeting cards and other items (mailed) from the Gaffney post office that were never received at their destinations.”

“The period of these customer complaints, according to postal employees, coincided with Degree’s short tenure with the post office,” prosecutors noted in a press release announcing the conviction.

Support FITSNews … SUBSCRIBE!

***

According to prosecutors, fellow postal workers observed Degree keeping her personal handbag on carts containing outgoing mail, spending longer than necessary retrieving mail from the blue boxes in front of the post office and becoming agitated if colleagues entered her work area. Video surveillance cameras recorded Degree removing greeting cards from the mail and concealing them inside folded pieces of paper which she then transferred to a bag before leaving the premises.

From the release …

On March 9, 2023, OIG special agents installed two covert cameras in the lookout gallery at the Gaffney post office. Agents reviewed video and saw that on March 11, 2023, Degree was taking greeting cards out of the mail stream and putting them inside a folded piece of white paper. About 10 minutes later, Degree was observed leaving Gaffney post office with a yellow plastic bag that appeared to have the envelopes inside. Agents again reviewed video from March 18, 2023, and observed Degree taking greeting cards out of the mail stream and putting them inside of a black backpack. About five minutes later, Degree was observed leaving Gaffney post office with the black backpack.

When confronted about the thefts, Degree admitted to them and chose to resign from her position.

“Postal employees have a duty to safeguard mail that comes into their possession,” U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs stated. “My office is dedicated to prosecuting those who steal from the public, especially those in a position of public trust.”

Degree is facing a maximum penalty of five years. U.S. district court judge Donald C. Coggins will impose a sentence upon her after reviewing the recommendations of a pre-sentencing report.

Assistant U.S. attorneys Winston Marosek and Bill Watkins prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the USPS inspector general’s office.  USPS has reported a rise in mail theft over the past two years – leading officials to advise consumers against using their blue boxes to drop off outgoing parcels – and to avoid mailing checks.

Have you witnessed (or do you suspect) mail theft? If so, click here or call 877-876-2455.

***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Callie Lyons (Provided)

Callie Lyons is a journalist, researcher, and author whose investigative work can be found in media outlets, publications, and documentaries all over the world – most recently in the Parisian newspaper Le Monde and a German documentary for ProSieben. Lyons also appears in Citizen Sleuth – a 2023 documentary exploring the genre of true crime.

***

WANNA SOUND OFF?

Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.

***

Get our newsletter by clicking here …

*****

Related posts

Crime & Courts

The Scandalous Legacy Of ‘Reverend’ Reginald Wayne Miller

Callie Lyons
Crime & Courts

Incumbent South Carolina Councilwoman Accused Of Nine Ethics Violations

Andrew Fancher
Crime & Courts

Mica Miller Saga: Police Reports Reveal Harassment Allegations

Callie Lyons

1 comment

The Cheapskate Factory March 11, 2024 at 11:16 am

Ruining your life over some gift cards, now that’s some top shelf trashy behavior. Hope those Red Lobster dinners were worth it.

Reply

Leave a Comment