Police arrested Matthew Shaffer, 27, of the 3800 block of Suan Drive in Appling, early this morning. He is charged with misdemeanor theft by taking, although the number of charges is pending, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said. The incident has been reported to the United States Postal Service, which could also pursue charges.
Shaffer is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center, but his bond amount has not been set, Morris said.
Shaffer, an independent contractor, has been delivering The Augusta Chronicle newspapers for a couple of weeks. During that time, several residents in the Winfield Hills and Mistletoe areas have reported missing mail, Morris said.
"I know there have been others that didn't realize mail was stolen possibly or realized it and didn't report it," Morris said. "We'd like get those people to give us a call, if they have lost mail in the past two weeks."
Police set up a sting by placing mail including cards with cash in them inside several mailboxes in the area and said they caught Shaffer going through and stealing mail. He mainly stole cards, cash, gift cards and small packages that would fit inside a mailbox, Morris said.
Morris said residents in the west end of Columbia County who believe their mail was stolen should call the sheriff's office at (706) 541-1044.
"If they were anticipating receiving a package or mail in the last week or two that should have been delivered and they never received it, give us a call," Morris said. "Or if they mailed letters or packages that never reached their destinations, give us a call as well."
Reach Valerie Rowell at (706) 868-1222, ext. 110 or