News and Press Releases

Reno Woman Sentenced to Prison for Stealing Mail From Post Office Boxes

October 31, 2003

Reno, Nev. -  Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, announces that KELLIE L. VARNUM, age 34, a resident of Reno, Nevada, was sentenced on Thursday, October 30, 2003, by U.S. District Court Judge Howard McKibben, to 22 months in prison for her guilty plea to stealing mail from the main post office in Sparks, Nevada. VARNUM, who has numerous prior felony convictions for burglary, theft, and passing bad checks, was also ordered to serve the sentence consecutively to a Nevada state court sentence she is currently serving, and to pay restitution of $6,981.19 to the victims from whom she stole mail.

According to the court records, between October 19, 2002, and December 14, 2002, over 40 post office boxes in the main post office in Sparks, Nevada, were broken into and had mail stolen from them. A security camera was installed to try to catch the thief, and on one night, a female was observed breaking into the boxes. On December 14, 2002, U.S. Postal Inspectors set up live surveillance at the post office, and caught KELLIE VARNUM breaking into the postal boxes. VARNUM was arrested, and on her person, Postal Inspectors found stolen mail and a lock from one of the boxes, and screwdrivers that she had been using to break into the boxes. Postal box customers reported losses in excess of $6,000, primarily as a result of blank checks which had been stolen from one of the boxes, and which VARNUM used to forge and cash at various businesses in the Reno-Sparks area.

VARNUM will also have to serve three years of supervised release following her release from federal custody.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by Inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Reno. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Rachow.

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