11 indicted in mail thefts across Wichita over 4 years

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a series of thefts from mailboxes in Wichita began when someone stole a master key to the city’s mailboxes.

Eleven people were indicted Tuesday in a scheme that included the mail thefts, identity theft and bank fraud.

They include the following:

Brandon L. Amend, 30, Wichita
Bettye L. Amend, 26, Wichita
Cory D. Blanchard, 33
Ashley M. Campbell, 30, Valley Center
Jason A. Farner, 33, Leavenworth
Keith P. Gipson, 30, Wichita
Krista A. Goodwin, 27, Wichita
Jason L. West, 31, Wichita
Cole P. Kelly, 32, Wichita
Shalan D. Hiatt, 37
Jera L. Hammond, 25, Wichita

The U.S. Attorney’s office says when a mail truck was robbed in December 2012, the thieves took an arrow key, which is a master key to unlock mailboxes. Prosecutors say the thieves made copies of that key and stole items from mailboxes over four years. They are accused of cashing about 30 checks.

The thieves hit collection boxes, residential mailboxes, mail rooms, churches, businesses and post offices. Prosecutors say they then forged signatures or made counterfeit checks to cash checks and money orders.

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