Skip to main content
Press Release

Former U.S. Postal Service Mail Carrier Sentenced for Stealing Mail from Customers in Santee

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – August 11, 2023

SAN DIEGO – Former U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Tracy Rumley of El Cajon was sentenced in federal court this morning to five years of probation and 200 hours of community service for stealing mail from customers on her postal route in the Santee area of San Diego.

When imposing sentence, U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino said, “Stealing mail is not the way to go. You will be caught, and you will be prosecuted.”

During the evening of November 21, 2022, an off-duty San Diego Police detective saw a woman in a hooded sweatshirt open a communal mailbox at his apartment complex in Santee, California and remove multiple pieces of mail. As the detective approached, the female closed the mailbox and fled in a White Nissan. After getting the license plate of the vehicle, the detective determined that Rumley resided at the same address as listed for the vehicle registration and referred the matter to the U.S. Postal Service.

Rumley had been placed on administrative leave from her employment at the Santee Post Office earlier that month and was terminated by the Postal Service on December 12, 2022. After securing a search warrant for the residence, on December 21, 2022, United States Postal Service Inspectors found more than 1,500 pieces of mail in Rumley’s residence including, but not limited to, gift cards, credit cards and even several Christmas presents that had all been stolen from nearly 900 customers along her mail delivery route in Santee. Inspectors also found the keys she was given as a mail carrier to access mailboxes. The keys were hidden in a potted plant within her bedroom. In her plea agreement, Rumley admitted that, even after being placed on administrative leave, she kept those keys though she was not authorized to do so and used them to continue to steal mail even after she was terminated. 

The government’s sentencing papers quoted several statements given by the victims of Rumley’s crimes. Those statements emphasized what Judge Sammartino observed was a “betrayal” of duty by the victims’ mail carrier. For example, a child who had been impacted by Rumley’s theft commented that, “I felt shocked because I got robbed by the mail lady.” An adult victim said, “She played us for idiots.”

“When customers entrust the U.S. Postal Service with their letters and packages, they expect each and every piece will be delivered to its final destination,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Haden. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will zealously pursue those whose actions impact the integrity of our mail delivery system to achieve justice for the victims.” Haden thanked former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Luce and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General for their excellent work on this case.

“The sentencing in this case demonstrates the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s commitment to protect the sanctity of the U.S. Mail and to ensure the public’s trust in the Postal Service by holding those that commit theft accountable for their actions,” said Carroll Harris, Inspector in Charge of the Los Angeles Division.   

DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 23cr0216-JLS                            

Tracy Rumley                                                 Age: 44                                   El Cajon, CA


Count 1: Keys or Locks Stolen – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1704

Maximum penalty: Ten years in prison and $250,000 fine

Count 2: Theft of Stolen Mail Matter – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1708

Count 3: Theft of Mail by Postal Employee – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1709

Maximum penalty (Counts 2 & 3): Five years in prison and $250,000 fine


U.S. Postal Inspection Service         


Assistant U. S. Attorney Larry Casper (619) 546-6734    

Updated August 14, 2023

Press Release Number: CAS2023-0811-Rumley