MUSKOGEE, Okla. (KTUL) – Former UPS employee, 23-year-old Hannah Renee Thornton, is charged with embezzlement after stealing packages as they came into the UPS Shipment Center located on West Shawnee Street.
Thornton also goes by the name "Hannah Renee Smith" and "Hannah Smith-Thornton."
Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge received the case shortly after Thornton’s supervisors caught her.
“They had a suspicion something was going on, so they started investigating and realized she had been taking some packages that were meant for delivery and putting them in her own backpack,” he said. “They confronted her, and she confessed.”
According to an affidavit, Thornton told her supervisor she took about 12 packages between the time of Nov. 17 and Dec. 11. It’s estimated that each one could be worth around $100.
“She had access to them very easily, and she chose to abuse that,” said Loge.
Officer Lincoln Anderson said it was a matter of time.
“The thing is, most of these places have cameras or there are multiple people working, and eventually, you’re going to get caught,” he said.
Not only is Thornton charged with embezzlement, which is a felony, she’s also charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia -- a misdemeanor. When police began their investigation, they found she had a pipe with marijuana residue in it. It was in the same backpack she was concealing the packages.
“With the recent passing of the legalization laws in Oklahoma, there’s still a law where you can’t possess it without that card,” said Anderson.
Loge said they are taking both charges very seriously. He hopes this sends a message to other thieves this time of year.
“They are meant for probably gifts,” he said. “We have no doubt that, based on the amount, that this was a felony, and she was caught, and she will be held accountable.”
Thornton’s preliminary hearing is set for Thursday, Dec. 27 at 9:30 a.m.
UPS did not return our call for comment on Monday.