May 27, 2005 – A U.S. postal employee was charged with stealing two odd-looking gold bars and jewelry from a package mailed by a local jewelry shop. Investigators said his wife unwittingly took the bars back to the same shop to have the gold made into jewelry, according to court records viewed Friday.
Employees at West Indian Creations Jewelry recognized the two bars because the gold had accidentally been mixed with another metal and had been bent. A worker at the Attleboro, Mass., shop where the two bars had been sent for separation had phoned the previous day, saying the box had arrived empty, according to a statement by Richard Santamaria, a U.S. Postal Inspection officer.
Jewelry store employees did not confront Loreli David when she came in to have the gold bars made into jewelry, but they kept the bars and called the postal inspectors.
The officers set a trap for the woman's husband, postal worker Elmo David, by rigging a box of jewelry with a transmitter that would alert them if the box was opened. David was working alone at the Air Mail Facility at Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas when the transmitter went off, Santamaria said.
David, a postal employee since 1988, immediately admitted he had stolen the bars and had opened other packages on seven or eight occasions, Santamaria said, according to the court documents.
He showed the officers jewelry in his pockets he claimed to have stolen from mail the previous day, Santamaria said.
David was charged Thursday morning with mail theft. He could be sentenced to five years in prison and fined $250,000 if convicted.
Employees at West Indian Creations Jewelry declined to comment.
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