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Forum News Service, Published May 28 2013

Letter carrier fined for stealing rebate check

MADISON, Wis. - A former letter carrier was fined $2,500 Friday in federal court for taking a $118 Menards rebate check intended for a patron while walking his mail route.

Although he faced a possible six months in prison, District Judge Barbara Crabb said she wasn’t going to put Brent Olson, 37, of Superior, in jail or on probation because has no prior felony convictions, has a lengthy work history and “is a good citizen” except for this incident.

Crabb asked Olson why he stole mail after 17 years with the U.S. Postal Service.

“I don’t know,” Olson replied.

“Obviously, nobody else understands it either,” Crabb said.

Olson said he has pondered the question daily and sought counseling to determine why he took the postcard rebate intended for Ed Nelson on May 26, 2012.

After Nelson complained to Menards about not getting the rebate check, the store located surveillance camera footage of Olson using it, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Connell said at Olson’s plea hearing earlier this year.

Olson paid Nelson for his loss, and Nelson and others have written the court in support of Olson.