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Arrowtown's accused mass mail thief named

Monday 3 Dec 2012 3:03 p.m.

The identity of a Queenstown postie accused of the mass theft of mail can now be revealed.

Phillipa Lindsay, 32, is charged with the theft of 17,000 letters, postcards and parcels between September 2010 and November 2012.

Cameras were allowed in Queenstown District Court this morning to record her appearance before a judge.

Lindsay was remanded on bail until February while police continue their investigation, but no new charges were laid today.

The Police prosecutor told the judge they needed more time to investigate the case and to contact the senders and receivers of 500 pieces of opened mail.

Police say Lindsay had kept the thousands of items of stolen mail at her home and in a storage shed in Arrowtown.

The mail was mostly intended for the Fernhill area of Queenstown and New Zealand Post arranged a special run yesterday to drop the missing items to their rightful recipients. 

Around 66 percent of the mail has been delivered. Police and New Zealand Post workers are still working on the remainder.

New Zealand Post’s national heartland leader, Dean Horsup, said organising lost mail was a much harder process than expected.

“It was much more challenging that we thought it would be, getting signatures from all the people around there”, he said.

“Obviously there were a lot of people not home as well so we’ve had a card to call process for them to pick up.”

This Sunday, the remaining mail will be delivered to the Fernhill and Lake Hayes estate areas.

New Zealand Post has taken strong criticism for failing to act on missing mail complaints earlier. They had received complaints for more than a year before launching an investigation into Ms Lindsay.

Several NZ Post executives were in court for Lindsay’s appearance. 

She will reappear in court on February 14 and faces serious charges – a conviction could see her with a maximum jail term of seven years.

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