OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.– An Army veteran discovers a gift card he mailed to his son in the Air Force was stolen and used at an Oklahoma City Chinese restaurant.
The veteran believes a postal worker may be responsible.
The grandfather says he took extra steps in an attempt to make sure his Christmas card didn’t go missing. But it did, even after he allegedly put it directly in a mail drop box inside the post office.
Now, he wants to find the person who went on a shopping spree with his family’s Christmas money.
“This is my son, Christopher. He’s in the Air Force, jet engine mechanic,” Jim Stanich says, flipping through a family photo album.
Stanich’s son lives in West Virginia. This past December, Stanich couldn’t travel to visit his family, so he decided to mail the Christmas present.
“I had bought a $150 Visa gift card for my son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren for Christmas,” Stanich said.
The Sunday before Christmas, Stanich walked inside the post office on Hefner near Council Rd.
“I mailed it in the post office, which counts out any foreign hands that could’ve been in my mail box itself.”
Weeks went by and the package was never delivered.
“You have faith it’ll show up, it’ll show up, you wait another day, it’ll be there. Well, it never did arrive,” Stanich says.
He got suspicious and called Visa.
They tracked it down and learned it never left Oklahoma City.
The card was used at Panda Express, Banana Republic and 7-Eleven.
The charges were made on Dec. 23, Dec. 24 and again on Dec. 26 when the amount was finally depleted.
The veteran says he was devastated.
“My grandkids didn’t get anything from grandpa,” he said.
A special agent with the Office of Inspector General confirms there is an ongoing investigation to see who is responsible.
“I’d like to catch the guy that did that at the post office,” he said.
Investigators say there are a number of possibilities. In 2013, more than 300 postal employees and contractors were charged with mail theft.
“If he did it to me, he did it to other people, or she,” Stanich says.
The Office of Inspector General says they have beefed up security when it comes to hiring post office employees.
They perform extensive background checks, fingerprinting, employment references and drug tests.
If found guilty, the person responsible could face up to 5 years in prison.