Carrier suspected of taking Menards receipts from mail faces more charges

Local News

A 33-year-old Wapello mail carrier who, police say, took Menards receipts out of the mail and passed them off as her own now faces additional charges.

Kami Fry, who has changed her name to Stephens, earlier pleaded not guilty to a fifth-degree theft charge after police say she stole a Menards credit voucher then used it at a Muscatine store.

Fry was charged for the value of a credit check used April 28 in the amount of $203.22, court documents say. She pleaded not guilty in a Louisa County Court document filed June 16.

On May 26, a Wapello police officer again charged her with fifth-degree theft after an investigation into fraudulently used Menards rebate checks.

The investigation continued with U. S. Postal Service Special Agent Mike Vinzant, court documents say.

Vinzant was assisted by a Menards employee, who ran a check on Fry’s address for rebates issued to her. The Menards employee attached the original receipts sent in from three listed names.

A rebate was issued to Fry off the receipts and sent to her address. The Menards employee said the rebate had not been used yet.

The employee contacted the officer later and said another rebate was issued to Fry, and there was an original receipt belonging to another person.

The officer contacted the Menards employee to verify the information and he verified the receipts were placed in an envelope together, marked with Fry’s return address and a rebate form filled out in Fry’s name for the receipts.

“This confirms the suspicion of her taking receipts out of the mail and passing them off as her own,” the arrest affidavit says.

Fry was placed under arrest for two more counts of fifth-degree theft. One victim did not wish to press charges and no contact had been established with another, the affidavit says.

The first Menards voucher

Shortly after 6 p.m. May 7, a Wapello Police officer received a report about the theft of a voucher issued April 15 and mailed to a Wapello woman, an arrest affidavit says.

The officer spoke with the woman, who said she had been in contact with the Menards rebate center about the rebate she did not receive. She told the officer the rebate was issued April 15, and mailed to her address, and was used in the Muscatine store on April 28, an arrest affidavit says.

The woman said she did not receive or use the rebate.

The next week, the officer spoke with a front-end store manager for Menards in Muscatine.

The investigation

On May 15, the officer received a record of the date, time and register the rebate check was used, as well as still photos from surveillance video showing a blond-haired woman pushing a cart with two large flowerpots and several bags of mulch out the door.

The woman can be seen going to a silver SUV.

On May 18, another officer identified the woman as Kami Fry. The first officer went to her home, where the vehicle there matched the one in the photo. Additionally, Fry had a yellow flowerpot at the front of her home that matched the pots in the still photo.

The officer saw Fry delivering mail in a truck and asked to meet with her later at the police department.

Fry verified the photos show her and her vehicle in the parking lot.

“Kami denied any fault or participation in the use of the check,” the affidavit says. “Kami stated that she is going to lose her job and asked when I was going to tell them,” the officer wrote in the affidavit.

Because of the seriousness of the accusations and Fry’s job being on the line if she is charged and convicted, the officer told her Menards would be provided with all the information.

Further proceedings are set for Aug. 4 in Louisa County Court.

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