BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A longtime mail carrier is accused of stealing 20,000 pieces of mail. Investigators say he made off with gift cards, credit cards and much more.

Monique Griego reports tampering with mail is a federal offense, so this carrier could be facing some serious prison time.

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A Catonsville postal carrier is at the center of massive mail theft investigation.

Federal investigators say 47-year-old Jeffrey Shipley, a mailman since 1993, failed to deliver, embezzled and stole more 20,000 pieces of mail.

“I can’t believe this guy would do this. He’s gotta know the consequences of what’s going to happen to him. He’s going to jail,” said Ronald Robinson, postal customer.

The stolen items included checks, money orders, gift cards, prescription medication, passports, DVDs and even a Mother’s Day greeting card.

Some customers at a branch near Shipley’s route confirmed they’d had missing mail.

“I’ve definitely not had a part come, just not show up and disappear,” Michael D’Ambrosio, postal customer.

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Authorities say Shipley primarily took mail from the Parkville branch and at the Catonsville Carrier Annex. Neither location was on his route. His only reason for coming here was to steal bags of mail.

“It would make me very nervous to know that somebody may be going through my mail and stealing it,” one woman said.

“It scares people. You don’t know what’s going to happen. This guy might have been exchanging mail,” Robinson said.

According to charging documents, when investigators arrested Shipley they also searched his apartment. Inside they found 55 gift cards and 15 credit cards he’d removed from packages and envelopes. Some items were reportedly in his wallet.

The documents also state it’s unclear exactly when the thefts began in Shipley’s more than 20-year career.

“It’s amazing they got him. Glad they got a bust like that,” said D’Ambrosio.

Shipley was charged last week with theft of mail and destruction of mail.

The Office of the Inspector General says the investigation into the thefts is ongoing.

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