Brown, a Panama City resident, confessed to stealing bank checks and debit cards from both businesses and individuals, a news release from the Department of Justice said.

Elizabeth Shante Brown, a United States postal worker who held jobs in Okaloosa, Walton and Holmes counties, has been sentenced to 25 months in prison for stealing the property of some of her customers.


Brown, a Panama City resident, confessed to stealing bank checks and debit cards from both businesses and individuals, a news release from the Department of Justice said. She used the debit cards to make purchases and cashed the stolen checks.


The thefts occurred between March 1 and May 31 of 2017, the news release said.


“Public servants have an obligation to treat the public with respect and integrity, but this defendant tried to use her position of public trust for personal enrichment without regard to how it would hurt her innocent victims,” U.S. Attorney Larry Keefe said in the release, issued Monday.


Authorities learned that thefts were occurring in March of 2017 when a business reported to the Miramar Beach branch of the postal service that two of its debit cards had been stolen.


A review of transactions made with the cards indicated three purchases of phone equipment had been made at a Walmart in Panama City. Surveillance video captured Brown and a male acquaintance making the purchases.


Agents of the United States Postal Service Inspector General, working with the Panama City Police Department, were able to identify first the male acquaintance and later Brown. Brown was identified after she sold an I-Phone purchased with the debit card at a pawn shop.


Checkbooks stolen from a post office box in Ponce de Leon were also traced back to Brown. Investigators also discovered she’d successfully cashed a $500 check stolen from a Fort Walton Beach law firm, a summary of the charges said.


Brown was arrested, in her post office uniform, as she was attempting to cash another stolen check at a bank in Panama City, according to the release.


She pleaded guilty to three counts of bank fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of theft of mail by a U.S. Postal Service employee, the release said.


“The sentencing serves as a strong deterrent to those attempting to abuse the Postal Service and a clear reminder that the government is vigilant, and these crimes will not be tolerated,” Christopher Cave, postal spokesman said in the release.