MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) - A mail carrier in Macomb Township is accused of stealing mail and contents inside, including checks totaling nearly $70,000, according to a federal criminal complaint.
The investigation began when a construction worker discovered mail in a portable toilet in November of 2016, and called the Macomb Township Sheriff. The mail was turned over to management with the United States Postal Service.
The mail was determined to be from Shawn Hoover's delivery route in Macomb Township. A complaint states that USPS Management has received a large number of complaints of theft and non-delivery of mail on Hoover's route.
So, authorities set up an undercover sting. An undercover agent places a first class United States mail test piece along Hoover's route, containing $85 in cash. Authorities say Hoover opened the test piece and removed the $85.
The agents approached Hoover at his postal vehicle and took him into custody for questioning.
Hoover admitted he dumped the mail in the portable toilet, and to opening the test piece of mail and removing the $85. Hoover also told agents that, since October of 2016, he had obtained $250 in cash, four gift cards and several checks.
Hoover gave permission for the authorities to search his personal vehicle. Agents found 688 pieces of mail, 15 debit/credit/gift cards and 99 checks valued at $69,496, according to a federal criminal complaint.
Hoover is not currently facing charges.
The checks, cash, and gift cards were discovered stolen after the U.S. Attorney's office says Hoover admitted to dumping some of the mail in a porta-potty in November, which sparked a larger investigation.
"I've heard some neighbors losing gift cards," said Ron Reiss who lives on the mail route. "(I've heard of) some neighbors losing checks, payroll checks that could not be reprinted because of policies against it."
Allegedly Hoover went through the mail, picked out what he liked, then stuffed the rest in the mailboxes.
A spokesperson for the US Postal Service wouldn't give the specific streets where Hoover worked in the township. They are still in the process of privately notifying everyone who was affected.