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Former postal carrier sentenced for stealing mail in Moorhead

MOORHEAD — A former postal carrier was sentenced to 30 days of home monitoring and three years of supervised probation Monday, Jan. 22, for charges stemming from claims she stole a gift card, cash and check from mail on her route.

Sarah Elizabeth Shanebeck, 31, of Fargo, was also ordered to pay a fee of $1,000 and restitution of $86 at the sentencing hearing in Clay County District Court.

Shanebeck originally pleaded not guilty in September to three felony charges of mail theft. As part of a plea agreement, Shanebeck changed her plea to guilty for one of the charges last month. In exchange, the other two were dismissed.

If she successfully completes her probation, she may escape a conviction in the case.

According to court documents, a Moorhead resident contacted police in January 2017 to report a $50 Walmart gift card she put in the mail for pickup didn't reach its intended recipient. That resident told authorities the same thing happened with a birthday card containing $5 and a birthday card with a $25 check.

Police checked surveillance video from the Walmart store where that gift card was used and determined Shanebeck had used it. Shanebeck was assigned to the victim's mail route in Moorhead, court documents stated.

The U.S. Postal Service then placed mail in Shanebeck's route containing gift cards from Target and Walmart that were supposed to be delivered to the victim of the original theft. Instead, Shanebeck used the gift cards to make online purchases, court documents stated.

Postal Service spokeswoman Darla Swanson confirmed Monday that Shanebeck worked for the agency from September 2016 through August 2017 and is no longer employed there.

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson is the Features Editor for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He previously wrote for The Forum and the Grand Forks Herald.

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