Thieves Swipe Graduation Gifts From Owasso High School Senior

Tuesday, May 25th 2010, 9:46 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6 

OWASSO, OK -- Thousands of kids across northeastern Oklahoma are finishing their senior year and preparing for bright futures.

But thieves are putting a damper on things for one new Owasso High School grad by swiping graduation cards and gifts right out of the mail.

It happened to a new high school graduate and her parents don't want it to happen to anyone else.

High school graduation is always such a fun and exciting time. Celebrating accomplishments, looking forward to the future.

But as Joel and Shonna Nelson found out, thieves know its graduation time too.

"It looked like someone had stolen the money," Joel Nelson said.

Like many new graduates, the Nelson's daughter, Kaleigh, is getting graduation cards in the mail. But a thief ripped several open, left the checks and gift cards, but took any cash they found.

"That somebody would actually open your mail and they don't seem to be more concerned about the situation," Shonna Nelson said.

The Nelson's say they immediately put a stop on their home mail delivery. But it happened again, when picked up more mail at the post office.

"At the post office, there was one that had been opened again, so I went home and called that person and it was cash that they had sent," Shonna said.

"Since we stopped the mail and held it at the post office, she still found one that was, had been opened within the system of the post office, it never made it to our mailbox," Joel said.

Owasso police say they haven't had any other reports thieves targeting mail. But they say this is a good reminder to all new grads, and those giving gifts to be careful.

Police say it's a good idea not to send cash in the mail or even a gift card for that matter, but if you do, they say you might want to put the card in an inconspicuous envelope, one that doesn't stand out or look like a graduation card is in it.

The Nelsons say they feel violated. The theft is just plain wrong and most of all just sad. They're spreading the word, because they don't want it to happen to anyone else.

"Probably could happen anywhere," Joel said. "Whether it is Owasso or somewhere else, it appears they are keying in to that size of envelope."

Stealing U.S. mail is a federal felony, and can lead to a fine and up to five years in prison.