A San Antonio woman was found early Sunday morning with hundreds of packages in her car, however, police are saying she’s not one of Santa’s elves helping to deliver Christmas gifts.
New Braunfels police officers responded to a call about 4:30 a.m. on Sunday in the Caprock subdivision in Guadalupe County after receiving reports of a suspicious person around the mailboxes, NBPD spokesman David Ferguson said.
When officers found the Jeep described by witnesses, they conducted a traffic stop, Ferguson said.
That’s when police reportedly found 42-year-old Lana Krupka in possession of hundreds of packages from a pair of subdivisions as well, Ferguson said.
“Based on the addresses from the mail it was determined that the items had been taken from both the Caprock subdivision and the Legend Pond subdivision off of West Klein Road in New Braunfels,” Ferguson said.
Krupka was transported to Guadalupe County Jail and booked on a charge of possession of a controlled substance penalty group 1 between 1-4 grams.
She is currently being held on $15,000 bond.
The investigation into possible mail theft was turned over to the Office of the Inspector General for the United States Postal Service in San Antonio.
Mail theft is a federal crime and carries a penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
There are more than 200 federal laws in place to protect the mail system from theft, fraud and vandalism.
In 2017, USPS inspectors reported 5,538 arrests and 4,679 convictions related to violations of federal postal laws. Almost half of the convictions were for mail theft, a total of 2,173.
Mail theft reaches its peak during the holiday season. According to the National Retail Federation, 55 percent of those surveyed claimed they would do their Christmas shopping online.
With more retail conducted through the internet and postal service, mail thieves have more opportunities to swipe Christmas presents now than when the majority of retail shopping was done at brick-and-mortar stores.
USPS recommends residents take extra precautions to safeguard their mail, such as collecting mail promptly, asking a trusted neighbor or the post office to hold your mail if you are out of town and reporting all mail inconsistencies to a postal inspector.
If you believe you have been the victim of mail theft, call the USPS inspector at 877-876-2455.