Greed causes people to do horrible things…like steal laptops and mobile phones from rural school children. But justice is now being served.
Six ramp handlers for Ravn Air, an Alaska Airlines partner and regional airlines in Alaska, used their trusted position to steal over $489,000 in goods over a two year period from 2015 to 2017. Stolen goods included computers, mobile phones, cigarettes, and chewing tobacco. All now sit in an Anchorage jail awaiting arraignment.
How did this happen? Ravn Air is contracted by the U.S. Postal Service to deliver mail to parts of rural Alaska.
Ravn was authorized to pick up mail from the U.S. Postal Service Processing and Distribution Center in Anchorage and move it to Ravn facilities for placement on planes and delivery to villages, including the western Alaska communities of Saint Marys, Mountain Village, Stebbins, Unalakleet, Emmonak, Kotlik, Alakanuk, Aniak, Grayling, Kalskag and Koyuk.
How did they do? Simple enough–just skim a few items here and there and it all starts to add up. But these were not the smartest criminals. One 29-year old named Congress Lepou, who served as a lead ramp agent, just kept many stolen items at his house.
Lepou…was found with two stolen computers, 667 cartons of cigarettes stolen from the mail and 305 cans of stolen chewing tobacco. He also had eight stolen prepay cellular phones worth $109,000, prosecutors said.
But these were not the sharpest tools in the shed, as they pulled a Ravn truck up to their own autos in the employee parking lot and made the transfers. That’s how they were caught…in broad daylight.
More details here.
image: Ravn Air