NY Postal Worker Steals From the Mail Only To Get Probation

Walter Cicchetti / shutterstock.com
Walter Cicchetti / shutterstock.com

Claiming the money was in the mail is a line most financially desperate people have uttered at least once in their lives before 2000. When the money wouldn’t show up, excuses were always likely to follow, and now it seems as if the post office might have been stealing that money.

A press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York announced that 40-year-old Marlene Cruz had been convicted of theft of mail matter by an officer or employee. Prosecuted by US Attorney Trini E. Ross, Cruz faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for her conviction. Her punishment for tampering with mail frequently from 2021 through 2023? Just two years on probation.

Caught on camera counting out cash stolen from the mail, she flaunted what she had taken and still only got probation. According to the press release, she had been under investigation from January 2022 through November 2023.

During that time, she was observed opening envelopes and packages. Taking tickets, documents, cash, lotto tickets, as well as gift cards, she certainly got much more than the cost of two years on probation. Finally nailed in November 2023, she was busted with a mail integrity test gift card inside her personal (not post office issued) duffel bag at work.

Stealing from the people on her route, Cruz showed little to no more remorse for her actions and seemed almost proud of what she had done. Caught going through no less than 90 pieces of mail across 38 occasions, this was something she had been doing for some time, and yet the postal service and the federal government wouldn’t make her pay for her crimes.

Prosecution like this emboldens these criminals, showcasing just how little accountability we expect from people and how unwilling we are to make examples of criminals. Sadly, she isn’t being ordered to pay restitution or serve hard time, and a case like this gives people even less of a reason to trust the post office to handle their mail.