Gift cards stolen from Christmas letter

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Eric Groninger was basking in the holiday spirit until he opened the greeting cards he received from his mom. "I received my mail yesterday, and the gift cards for my children were supposed to be along with the envelopes and the gift cards were not there," Groninger said.

Groninger says his mother, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, sent him a $250 Wal-Mart gift card and his two sons the same gift cards valued at $50 each, but he says they were missing from the mail.  "I was appalled. It was all I had for Christmas. My Christmas present from my mom was giving my boys a Christmas. So actually that $250 card for me was to spend on them so they would have Christmas here."

The envelopes were ripped and sealed with scotch tape, something Groninger says his mother didn't do. He says he has no idea who did nor does he know who took the gift cards. "I really don't know. I'd like to think there was a fall in the system some where people are genuine this time. I can only assume someone took the gift cards out."

Groninger, a landscaper who works seasonally, says he wants his boys to have a Merry Christmas and the Postal Service to investigate. "I want to see something done. Everyone wants to see something done when something like this happens."

If you are expecting something in the mail and it does not arrive contact the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General’s Hotline at 1-888-USPS-OIG (1-888-877-7644) .  The Office of Inspector General takes these allegations serious and investigates any wrongdoing.
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  • Rick S

    Those are fat envelopes with one first class stamp on them. If you are sending anything other than a letter, please know you need to pay a little extra to get it to be manually sorted. The machine that sorts first class letters mauls envelopes open all the time, it is very possible it wasn’t stolen. Also if you must send a gift card through the mail (a check would be a better idea, besides being thinner as well), put a sticker on the gift card with the address of the recipient in case it is ripped out by a machine so they know where to send it.

    • Donnie

      I had the exact same thing happen last year except the top of the envelope was sliced open and the two gift cards removed. When my parents recieved the cards a couple days later they let me know they never showed up . I was able to contact the stores i purchased the cards from and they where able to cancel those cards beforr being used and reissued me new ones i now use padded envelopes and tape the top and bottom of the envelope no problems since then.

    • ean12967

      Although I appreciate your intent to help, all you did was basically blame the victim. This was theft, pure and simple.

  • steve

    It’s obvious the guy is a fraud. What thief is going to bother to tape up the envelope and send it to the person. Just another person trying tug on the heart strings of the gullible.

    • freetoairphoenix

      Oh no it isn’t. Mail theft via USPS happens, and it happened to me, my envelopes looked just like this persons as well- ripped/opened just enough to squeeze out the cards. Our local mail sorter here in Phoenix was arrested a whole year after I reported several items missing- it took that long to gather up evidence and charge her. When they steal cards out, they only open it up a little, just enough for the card to be squeezed through, then they put one of those “Oops your mail was damaged in processing”. This happened to my mail, that the AIG investigated. I never did get my items back!

  • Mark

    Diane, knowing this person as a friend of mine, I find it quite “grinchy” of you to go to such measures to ensure that you would air out such dirty laundry. Have you ever struggled in your life? So when you had those struggles, was there someone that tried to pull you deeper into the darkness? What did you think of that person? How you thought of that person, is exactly how Eric is feeling right now about you. Don’t be the darkness, but rather see their goodness. During this Christmas season I challenge you to do good for one random person and see how much greater you felt after that as compared to how you felt after your post. Remember, at the other end of the cord, people read what you write.

  • E

    Sad to see people still blame victims.. or even post such things about people.. glad to see it was flagged and removed!!

  • Dana

    This same thing happened to two different people I know. Last week money was stolen from a Christmas card sent from St. Louis. Also three weeks ago items were stolen out of a sealed box, how is this related to a postal machine “that mauls envelopes” It’s not. This box was also sent from St. Louis.

  • kg

    The same thing happened to me. I mailed a gift card and the birthday card it was in,made it perfectly in tact to the destination but the gift card was missing. It was not a machine problem. The gift card was stolen. It is a postal employee problem.

  • Dan

    One of my cousins continued a late aunt’s annual tradition of sending $1 lottery tickets to everyone in the family. 7 or 8 of the cards were torn open, luckily only 1-2 was actually missing the lottery tickets.

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