Postal Worker Accused of Stealing Direct Mail for Creative Tips

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A U.S. Postal Service employee is accused of stealing thousands of pieces of direct mail in an effort to garner ideas for a direct mail business he ran on the side, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.


The thefts were discovered Nov. 10 when a fire broke out at the Downers Grove, IL, home of the postal employee, Gordon Richardson Jr., the Tribune said.


In an indictment made public Jan. 15, Richardson was accused of stealing about 26,000 pieces of mail. He is a distribution clerk at the Oak Brook, IL, post office, not a carrier, the newspaper said.


David Colen, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, told the Tribune that a few pieces of direct mail were stolen almost every day over many years. The thefts drew no suspicion because no greeting cards or other First-Class letters that people expected to receive were stolen, Colen said. In those cases, customers often complain, alerting postal officials to potential problems with a letter carrier.


Richardson will be arraigned at a later date in U.S. District Court, according to the newspaper, which also said that the USPS suspended him after the mail was found in his home.


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