An employee of the Temple post office was summoned Thursday for allegedly opening incoming and outgoing mail, taking the contents if it was cash or a gift card and disposing the mail if it was a check.

Amanda Wentzell, 25, of Temple, was summoned on charges of theft by unauthorized taking, class D, and misuses of identification, class D. When she was interviewed at the post office by Detective Ken Charles, of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, she admitted to the crimes, Sheriff Scott Nichols said in a news release.

The sheriff’s investigation is ongoing, and the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service has been informed of the investigation, Nichols said in a news release. The sheriff’s office asked that any people who believe they are victims of the alleged postal crimes to contact Charles at 778-2680.

After receiving a complaint from a Temple resident in early July that their outgoing mail — which contained a gift card — had not reached its destination, Charles launched an investigation and discovered that Wentzell had activated the card.

When she was interviewed Thursday, Wentzell admitted the theft as well as another seven separate thefts allegedly involving small amounts of cash and other gift cards, according to the news release.

Wentzell told Charles that when she had opened mail hoping to find cash or a gift card and found a check, “it was her practice” to throw away the check rather than placing it pack in the mail.

It is not yet known how much money and how many gift cards Wentzell allegedly got though this process, Nichols said. The missing gift card that spurred the investigation was worth $100.

The population of Temple is about 530, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

In its Thursday news release, the sheriff’s office provided a link to Wentzell’s Facebook page.

Last year, a former East Vassalboro postal worker was sentenced to three months in federal prison for stealing mail and embezzling postal money orders. In that case, Jason K. Stockmar, of Augusta, stole 25 to 30 pieces of customer mail, taking cash, checks and gift cards.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

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Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate