Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Postal Worker Steals Thousands Of DVDs

HOUSTON -- A federal judge in Houston has ordered a year and a-half in prison for a now-former postal clerk in a DVD-by-mail theft investigation.

Authorities accused 53-year-old Anthony Zuniga of Houston of swiping thousands of movies from the mail system.

Zuniga was convicted of two counts of mail theft by a postal employee. He also was sentenced Monday to three years probation and must pay a $4,000 fine.

Netflix last year notified the U.S. Postal Service about an unusually high number of DVDs missing from a certain post office box.

Investigators said Zuniga was stationed at that center. Prosecutors said surveillance showed Zuniga stealing 122 DVDs from the post office.

On Aug. 3, 2006, inspectors observed Zuniga dumping a tub of Netflix and Blockbuster DVDs into a plastic bag and then leaving the postal facility with the plastic bag. Zuniga's vehicle was stopped as it was exiting the parking lot and inspectors found the plastic bag containing the DVDs on the floor of the vehicle. The bag contained 122 DVDs.

After an interview with postal inspectors, Zuniga consented to a search of his home. Inside the home, inspectors found 8,177 stolen pieces of mail -- including 5,937 Netflix DVDs and 1,497 Blockbuster DVDs.

Zuniga, who had been a Postal Service employee since 1974, resigned his job after being caught stealing the DVDs

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