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Posted on Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

Federal agents nab Ypsilanti man in mail theft sting operation

By Lee Higgins

An Ypsilanti man who works as a letter carrier in Redford is facing charges after agents with the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General said they put a greeting card containing cash in a mailbox and caught him tampering with it.

Stacy L. Keith was charged Wednesday in a federal criminal complaint with theft of mail by a postal employee.

He could not be reached for comment this morning. It's unclear when he will appear in court. Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit, could not be reached for comment.

Keith is accused of opening a piece of mail that had a greeting card and $40 cash inside Nov. 7. He also is accused of stealing a small package containing an AXE lotion sample, federal court records say.

He caught the attention of agents Oct. 3 when Redford Postmaster Pamela Rambo reported that a wedding ring that records show was delivered by Keith was reported missing by the intended recipient. Rambo also reported that a customer on Keith's route received a greeting card, but it had been opened and the cash inside was missing, according to an affidavit by Special Agent Layne Sill.

Regarding the missing ring, Keith gave a written statement that included a description of a man he said signed for the ring, the affidavit says. Agents went to Keith's home Oct. 26 and dug through his trash, the affidavit says, finding two "rifled greeting cards." They decided to set up a sting operation. On Nov. 7, agents put an outgoing greeting card in a customer's mailbox on Woodworth Street in Redford and began conducting surveillance.

Keith picked up the card, and, at one point, put it in the back of his postal van, the affidavit says. He continued walking his route, ultimately returning to the van at 11:53 a.m., when he began to drive away, the affidavit says. Shortly after he left, agents determined he opened the card, the affidavit says, and pulled him over. Keith signed a Miranda Rights form and agreed to an interview, the affidavit says.

Initially, Keith denied "ever stealing mail or opening greeting cards while on duty," the affidavit says. Agents found the open greeting card on the floor next to the driver's seat in the postal van, the affidavit says, and found a small parcel containing an AXE lotion sample.

Asked if he opened a piece of mail that day, Keith told agents, "Yes. It had a tracker in it. I know what it is now ... I looked at it, I felt the tracker in it. I pulled the money out and put it back in," the affidavit says. Regarding the lotion sample, he reportedly told agents, "the residence that it is addressed to is a vacant house and if I brought the item back to the post office they would just throw it away anyway."

Agents showed Keith the greeting cards they found in the trash at his home, the affidavit says. According to the affidavit, he told agents he remembered taking the cards and "admitted one had cash in it."

Keith explained to agents he's had financial problems because he must pay $1,300 each month in child support, the affidavit says. He told agents he has "been stealing greeting cards for approximately one year," taking a total of between $600 and $700, the affidavit says.

"I would take a couple of cards every other week when I got low on money," he said, according to the affidavit.

If convicted of theft of mail by a postal employee, Keith faces up to five years in prison.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at


Ron Granger

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

In the past I've seen these offenses get only a wrist slap. I once had a postal carrier in Ann Arbor diverting my mail to her home. She was on vacation so they couldn't return it to me for two weeks. It was a fiasco that can only happen with government support.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 2:36 a.m.

If convicted, only faces up to 5 years in prison? I stopped sending cash, checks, and gift cards to family nearly a year and half ago. My heart was broken when I found out that my great grandchildren didn't get their cards and gifts. The thief was not a postal employee, just a plain ole southern thief!


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 4:03 a.m.

and let's not forget the woman who swindled the Ann Arbor Amateur Hockey assoc. out of almost a million dollars and got all of what? 6 months???

Bobble Disk

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 1:59 a.m.

"snoopdog", There was a time when most adults knew basic facts about government. The fact that you never heard of US Postal Inspectors dates your public school education. They do not require Civics anymore so junior high & high school students no longer know much about their own government, which is why our government is being so easily taken away from us. Nothing new. The mighty ancient Greek City States lost democracy and the Roman people lost control over their Republic because the people became butt ignorant. The difference is it took over 450 years for scum to take over. In the USA, its happening with one generation. Its not their fault. Their parent generation became full time consumers and allowed unstable people to take over education of their childhood. As their parents got their fill of sex, alcohol, credit, valium, and stupid TV shows & spectator sports, the present adult young adult generation are fed 8 hours a day of propaganda in school, propaganda cooked up by 1960s overindulged spoiled college students who took over the public universities. If Ben Franklin were alive today, he would be surprised only by how long Democracy lasted. He predicted three or four generations when voters realized they could vote themselves presents from the US treasury and could vote their personal issues ("prejudices"), instead of what's best for the common good. Franklin understood citizenship versus narcissism before the dawn of modern psychology.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 3:42 a.m.

"bobble disk"- I'm with snoopdog, why on God's green earth would postal inspectors require coursework of any sort from students of any age? That's just a bizarre statement to make.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 3:29 a.m.

Bobbie Disk, You obviously are a newcomer to, my post was in jest. I didn't know U.S. Postal inspectors require junior high & high school students to take civics classes ? Perhaps many of us did not take enough english courses in junior and senior high school ? Good Day


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 1:38 a.m.

"Agents showed Keith the greeting cards they found in the trash at his home, the affidavit says. " Maybe I am just a dummy, but what "agents" were involved. Does the U.S. Postal service have their own federal agents ? Anywhoo, if this guy is found guilty he should be put away for a long time and I don't mind my tax dollars going his way to do this, don't put him in no country club prison though ! He should bust up big rocks into smaller rocks at least 10 hours a day. But he will still prolly get his pension and healthcare benefits if he was on the job for over 10 years, gotta love those "Cadillac" gubbamint bennies. One more thing if I may. This guy makes some decent coin tossing mail around. Why would he have to steal to make ends meet ? Just askin ! Jus remember , innocent till proven guilty ! Good Day

John of Saline

Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 9:28 p.m.

Do not mess with the Postal Service. You would think a carrier would know that best!


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.

Yet another person abusing the trust of his position to take something that is not his! Where is his conscience? I'm sorry he's having financial problems. So are a lot of other people. That is NOT an excuse for stealing.