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VALLEY FOCUS | Encino

Postal Supervisor Charged in Cash Theft

June 24, 1998|EDWARD M. YOON

Charges were filed Tuesday against a postal delivery supervisor who confessed to stealing $120 from a "lost wallet" entrusted in his care at the White Oak Post Office in Encino, according to the office of Los Angeles City Atty. James Hahn.

Steven Ross Parker, 48, of Reseda, has been charged with one count each of embezzlement and theft resulting from a sting operation conducted by the Postal Inspection Service, said Don Cocek, city deputy attorney in Hahn's Van Nuys office, who is handling the case.

Each count is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, Cocek said.

"The postal inspectors were following up on allegations of thefts coming out of the Encino branch, and they suspected that it might have been this particular individual," Cocek said. "What they did was test his integrity and provided him with the opportunity to take something that didn't belong to him.

"And he did."

The alleged violation occurred April 30, when postal inspectors placed $120 in identifiable bills--two $50 bills and one $20--in a wallet and reported it missing to a postal clerk in the Encino branch, according to police reports. An inspector gave the wallet to the clerk, who turned it over to Parker, police said.

Reports showed that Parker, who was under observation, allegedly kept the lost item for about an hour before entering the men's restroom, where he was suspected of taking the money out of the wallet.

Parker then gave the wallet to a registry clerk to be sent to the post office claims section, reports showed. Inspectors checked the wallet and found that the money was gone and found the missing bills on him, according to the police report.

"They didn't put him under arrest, but he did confess to the crime when they found it on his person," Cocek said.

Parker is scheduled for arraignment on July 28, Cocek said.

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