New Castle News

January 3, 2014

Ex-Westminster mail supervisor arrested

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The former mail room supervisor at Westminster College has been charged with stealing from students and employees at the school.

Debra Sue White, 59, of Hubbard, Ohio, was charged by New Wilmington police as the result of an investigation into missing mail at Westminster.

Police say she took mail with the intent of obtaining cash, gift cards, lottery tickets and other items of value.

White is accused of taking 55 pieces of mail over a three-year period from 40 different victims. The amount reported taken was valued at $1,695.

According to police, problems with Westminster’s  mail stem back to around 2000, but it was not until September 2010 that authorities began to focus on White. At that time, some missing mail was found by other staff under a desk she used at Westminster.

When confronted by police, White denied any involvement or connection with the crime. Police then obtained fingerprint information and conducted interviews of other people. In October  2011, police say, White was reinterviewed and she admitted responsibility for the thefts.

For the entire 10 years that the Westminster mailroom experienced problems, police said, White was the supervisor there. They said she even assisted postal inspectors at one point in an investigation of the thefts.

They also said she was often the person who took complaints from people who were missing mail and she prepared internal reports on the problems.

Police said White was dismissed from Westminster in May 2011, and there have been no reports of mail thefts since.

During the course of their investigation into the thefts, New Wilmington police interviewed about 90 people in an effort to determine the full extent of the crimes.

The charges against White —  theft and receiving stolen property — involve only items that were reported stolen between March 2010 and May 2011.

Police say they believe other items were taken outside of the scope of the criminal charges. However, many victims never filed official reports.

A preliminary hearing on the charges against White are scheduled for Feb. 11 in Lawrence County Central Court.