PREBLE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) — A postal employee was arrested and charged after an investigation into recent mail thefts in the Eldorado area.

According to the Preble County Sheriff’s Office, deputies began an investigation in late May after receiving complaints that mail had been opened and money or gift cards had been removed before being delivered.

The United States Postal Inspector’s Office assisted in the investigation and an employee was identified as the suspect. The inspector’s office interviewed the suspect and he admitted to opening mail and taking cash or food gift cards since he began working at the Eldorado Post Office in December 2021. Investigators also found that the suspect was issuing money orders while working and then cashing them for his own personal use.

It is believed that the suspect took several hundred dollars in cash and food gift cards and more than $2,000 in money orders.

Deputies arrested 21-year-old Austin C. Stutsman of Greenville and he was formally charged in the Eaton Municipal Court with identity fraud, a 5th-degree felony, and theft, a 5th-degree felony.

Stutsman remains in the Preble County Jail at this time.