Walpole Police are looking for the owners of dozens of valuables sent by mail within the past year that were allegedly stolen by a part-time employee at the East Walpole post office.
The employee, Marie Kernian, 24, of Mattapan was arrested Feb. 5 after a sting operation set up by Walpole PD and the U.S. Postal Service Inspector General's Office resulted in her allegedly opening two packages, taking the contents and then resealing the empty boxes.
After being placed under arrest, authorities found cell phones, iPads, GPS systems and dozens of gift cards in Kernian's car believed to have been stolen. They found 25-30 items they believe were taken from packages coming into the East Walpole office.
Kernian's job was to sort pieces of mail to be distributed to letter carriers and other post offices. According to Walpole Deputy Police Chief John Carmichael she had been working for the postal service for less than a year.
The inspector general’s office contacted Walpole PD about an anonymous tip they received that Kernian was stealing pieces of jewelry from the post office and selling them.
“There’s a lot of stuff that we recovered from her vehicle and there’s a lot of victims out there that we haven’t identified yet,” Carmichael said.
He said so far no one has reported any packages or letters missing.
"You would think that at some point somebody would have said ‘I never received my Kindle from Amazon’ and notified us,” Carmichael said. “What we think might have been happening is they may have just contacted the companies direct.”
Carmichael said he did not know how long she may have been stealing the mail but the investigation was ongoing. He also said they did not know what she was doing with the empty packages.
Kernian was charged with two counts of larceny over $250 as a result of the sting. Carmichael believes additional charges may be coming.
“Hopefully we’ll be arresting her again," he said. “For any victims that we can’t find for some of this property we’ll probably charge her with receiving stolen property. But that’s in the future.”
From Walpole PD: If you mailed one of these items, or were expecting to receive one of these items via the U.S. Mail, and are currently missing your packages, contact the Walpole Police Detectives at 508-668-1095, and ask to speak with Detective Kelleher.