Shakopee police had received several reports of mail theft in a certain area of the city in June. Thefts of letters containing checks and such things as birthday cards were reported stolen, as were packages.
To find the thief, police used a bait mail package equipped with a GPS tracking device addressed to a home on the 500 block of Barrington Drive, which had been victimized on multiple occasions.
Early Friday morning, police were notified by the tracking system that the package had been taken from the mailbox. A police officer followed the signal that was coming from a vehicle, and stopped it on 17th Avenue just west of Spencer Street at 4:42 a.m.
Inside was the driver, 38-year-old Jennifer Leann Schommer of Shakopee, making newspaper deliveries, with the opened bait package next to her on the front seat, according to a court complaint filed against her.
Schommer, who has a long history of crime convictions, including issuance of worthless checks, check forgery, theft, disorderly conduct and numerous driving violations, was charged Monday in Scott County District Court with two counts of felony mail theft. She also was charged with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, after police found a pill on her front seat, identified as Methylin, for which she did not have a prescription, according to the court complaint.
Schommer had a morning newspaper delivery route, the “perfect cover” for stealing from mailboxes, said Shakopee police Detective Sgt. John Buetow. “People wouldn’t think anything of it if they saw her car near mailboxes,” he said.
The mail theft charges each carry a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The drug possession charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
After the arrest, later that morning, police executed a search warrant at Schommer’s residence on the 1500 block of Harvest Lane, which she shares with Phillip Glenn Swanson, 39. Inside, police found controlled substances in the bedroom and a white substance, later identified as methamphetamine, in a locked safe, and more methamphetamine in a baggie under a couch, according to the court complaint.
Questioned by police, Swanson told police that he was clean and has been since his release from prison a couple weeks earlier. He said the meth belonged to his daughter and her husband, said the court complaint filed against him.
However, Schommer told officers that Swanson was lying and that the meth belonged to him, according to the complaint. Swanson was arrested and charged with three counts of fifth-degree possession of controlled substances, including marijuana. He was also charged with violating terms of his probation. Because he had had previous drug convictions, each drug count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, with a six-month mandatory minimum for each.
Swanson has two drug possession convictions in the past 10 years.
Both Schommer and Swanson were in the Scott County Jail Tuesday morning, with bail hearings scheduled for Tuesday.