by: Richard Elliot Updated:
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga.,None - Peachtree City Police charged a U.S. Postal Carrier with stealing department store gift cards right out of the mail, but it's how they
said they discovered the crime that has people talking.
Investigators said 42-year-old John Breedlove's car caught fire in the Peachtree City Post Office parking lot back in August. Because the fire appeared to be contained to the front passenger seat only, they immediately considered it suspicious.
While searching the car, Lt. Jason Epps said they found eight Kohl's Department Store $10 gift cards hidden underneath that burned out seat. Each card had a separate name and address on it.
"The next step obviously was getting in touch with the post office and finding out what his route was," said Epps. "When it was discovered that all these cards came back to being on this individual's route, then it began to get really suspicious."
Epps said when confronted with the gift cards, Breedlove said he had no idea how they wound up under his seat.
Police arrested Breedlove Thursday and charged him with eight counts of misdemeanor theft by taking. Channel 2's Richard Elliot went by his Sharpsburg home to try and get a comment, but Breedlove did not answer the door.
Many mail customers along his route immediately recognized Breedlove from the photo provided by police.
"Surprised," said Mark Yerges. "He was friendly to everyone, friendly to all the kids. I'm very surprised to hear these charges."
Another customer, who did not want to be identified, said the same thing.
"He's been our mail carrier for years," she said. "He seemed real friendly. He's very talkative. He always says hello to the kids. I'm really surprised."
"To jeopardize your career over something like that, it's pretty unbelievable," said Yerges. "Especially in this economy."