TEMPLE — A clerk at the Temple post office is accused of stealing and using a prepaid $100 gift card, and admitted to seven other thefts of cash and gift cards from the mail system, Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols said Thursday.

Detective Kenneth Charles charged Amanda Wentzell, 25, of Temple by summons Thursday on misdemeanor charges of theft by unauthorized taking and misuse of identification, Nichols said.

The Sheriff’s Office received a complaint the first week of July of a lost or stolen prepaid credit card from a person in Temple. The person informed Charles that a gift card intended as a graduation gift never arrived at its intended location, but it was activated and used.

Charles investigated and interviewed Wentzell at the post office Thursday and she “confessed” to the crime, according to a news release.

Wentzell also admitted to seven other thefts of small amounts of money and gift cards from incoming and outgoing mail, Nichols said.

Authorities learned from Wentzell that she had also opened mail hoping to find cash, only to discover a check. It was her practice to throw away the checks, Nichols said.

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Wentzell is scheduled to appear in Farmington court on Aug. 23. 

A conviction on either charge is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

If residents of Temple suspect they have been a victim of this crime, they are asked to contact Charles at 207-778-2680.

The office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service has been informed of the investigation and has been in contact with Charles.

A communications director for the U.S. Postal Service said the office could not speak about personnel actions because of privacy regulations.

“Ms. Wentzell is still on the rolls but not interacting with the mail at this time as this investigation is ongoing,” U.S. Postal Service spokesman Steve Doherty wrote.

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