Police: L.I. Postman Pinched 7,000 JC Penney Coupons

WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBS 2/WCBS 880) — A veteran Long Island postal worker has been accused of stealing from his own customers, the same people who gave him holiday tips, year after year.

And as CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reports, the lifted mail then went on sale.

“I think it’s terrible. I think it’s terrible. He should go to jail,” Garden City resident Paulette Mineo said.

WCBS 880 Reporter Sophia Hall gets details on the scam from the arraignment

“I’m glad he chose circulars. It would have been a disaster if he’d chosen Social Security checks,” resident Sally Richmond added.

Police said the letter carrier charged with grand larceny was not after checks, but after circulars, stealing customer coupons.

The circulars mailed from JC Penney and other Garden City retailers were intended for loyal shoppers who rely on big bargain offerings mailed to select credit card holders.

Thomas Tang, a postal employee since 1994 and based in Corona, Queens, is charged with pilfering more than 7,000 discount coupons between October and January and then putting up bundles of the stolen circulars on eBay for bidding, from his home computer in Baldwin on Long Island.

“He might package five or 10 and put them on eBay and people would bid on them — 10 for $35 or $40 — a profit for him,” Nassau County Police Det. Vincent Garcia said.

Tang’s pregnant wife and sister rushed out of the courtroom as a judge held the mailman on $10,000 bond. Prosecutors had asked for five times that but would not reveal how much the letter carrier allegedly made off the scheme.

“They’re alleging Mr. Tang took some circulars. I’m not going to minimize it but it is a little strange, not your typical case,” attorney Robert Parker said.

The U.S. Postal Service responded by saying: “Cases of mail being stolen are rare. Repercussions can result in firing or jail time, because it is a federal crime. The investigation is ongoing.”

“How dare he. Isn’t that stealing? Isn’t that a federal offense if you are supposed to receive it in your mailbox?” Bernadette Rodriguez said.

But some of the letter carrier’s friends and family said stealing circulars is a victimless, petty crime — even if it was carried out by a mailman.

Tang has no prior arrests. His lawyer said Tang was hired in 1994 and passed his background check with flying colors.

More from Sophia Hall
  • Bob

    What a idiot,lost a good job to.

  • arturo

    The robbery trio is more interesting. At least those guys commit real crimes.

  • elisajallen

    Best article! Best place to find and print coupons of major brands during holidays is “Printapons” search online and find.

  • Old Man

    Sentence him to receive 1000 lashes across the big toe with a wet noodle! Thai’ll straighten him out!!!

  • Debbie Paesano

    Seems that this guy thought he was out smarting everyone. Just another idiot trying to beat the system

  • JH


  • Eyebe Peisthoff

    Circulars? They’re making an issue b/c he stole annoying advertisements that clog up real mail?

    I only wish my mail carrier would take those before delivering them to me, all they do is make it more time consuming for me to sort through it all and get to my actual mail. Those flyers go right in the garbage- heck, I’ve got a 4 foot stack for him sitting in my recycling bin right now.

  • Emmers

    Who gives a hoot, everyone throws out that junk anyway.

    • Eyebe Peisthoff


  • mister

    He should be over dosed with a cups of tang and be forced to shop only at jc pennys

  • jerseyjoey

    To The Gallows with him, I say go Medevil on him and force him to buy at walmart and eat at Taco Bell (Beef Buritos Only) lol

  • ME

    Do you pronounce that General SO or General TISO~

  • C.J.

    He was also selling bootleg CD’s and DVD’s.

  • andrea

    good men don’t steal from their neighbors

  • They call me Poon

    I am Mr. Tang’s daughter, Poon. He a good man, reave him be.

    • sEXy sweetie

      ur not his daughter….and hes not a good man afterall….

    • Immune2raceBaiting

      Right! I’m his eldest daughter, Sum Tang, and my sisters are N.E. Tang and Nottadam Tang. We deride the racial implications of “Penny Pincher.” Where’s the Asian Defense League when you want them? Let’s keep the social insults aimed at the defenseless, like southern rednecks and christians.

  • Mr. Armenia

    Is this guy chinese?

    • tk

      does it matter?

      • Major Wood

        I am taking this matter to General Tso. He’ll know how to handle it.

      • Amigo

        Yes it does. Racial jokes should be directed towards the chinese, and not other East Asians.

    • devon charles

      These asian gentlemen are very clever indeed

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