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Fourth Graders Tour Paper
Ciraphic Artist Brenda Moore (right) shows fourth graders in Selena Gore's Union Elementary School class how she designs pages of The
Brunswick Beacon during a recent tour of the newspaper office in Shallotte.
Businessman Fears More Theft From
Shallotte Post Office Mailboxes
BY DOUG RUTTKR
Van Pyatte says he's glad police
have arrested a woman who alleged
ly stole checks from his mailbox at
Shallotte Post Office, but he isn't
convinced the stealing will stop.
"Any box in that post office you
can...open faster than you can with a
key." said Pyattc, general manager
of Complete Cleaning Service.
Shallotte Police last week arrested
Sharon Marie McAllister, 29, of
Shell Point and charged her with
seven counts of forgery and uttering,
according to Det. Carey Gaskins.
"She was going into the post of
fice down there and prying open
boxes," Gaskins said. "She was tak
ing checks out and forging a name
and cashing them at banks."
Gaskins said the local charges
were filed in connection with seven
checks that the woman allegedly
stole from Shallotte Post Office
mailboxes and cashed at banks in
The detective said the Brunswick
County Sheriff's Department,
Southport Police Department and
New Hanover County authorities al
so are expected to file charges in the
However, it doesn't appear that
federal mail-tampering charges will
be filed. Gaskins said a postal in
spector in Raleigh notified him
Tuesday that the U.S. Postal Service
does not plan to bring charges in the
"He said he was just so backed up
with work he didn't have time to
come down here," Gaskins said. "1
wish they would. The punishment
would be a lot worse if she was
charged with mail tampering."
Although the post office falls un
der federal jurisdiction, Gaskins said
Tuesday he planned to file state
breaking and entering and larceny
charges against the suspect.
Gaskins said Shallotte Police
were first notified of the break-ins at
the post office last November.
The suspect was caught last week
after allegedly trying to cash a stolen
check at the drive-through window
of a Shallotte bank. An alert teller
gave police a vehicle license pla'.e
number, which led to the arrest.
Gaskins said the stolen checks
cashed locally totaled about $2,500.
He said nobody knows how many
mailboxes were broken into or how
many checks were stolen.
Pyatte, who had six checks and
other mail stolen from his box, says
he's afraid the mailboxes at Shal
lotte Post Office are not secure.
Nearis Harvey, manager of post
office operation for the Mid-Caro
linas District, said Tuesday he isn't
aware of any security problems with
the post office boxes used in Shal
"Quite naturally there's always
concern about people breaking into
boxes," Harvey said. "Those boxes
are standard boxes within the postal
service we've been using for years."
However, Det. Gaskins said the
suspect told police she had no prob
lem breaking into the post office
"She says they were easy to get
into. I ctoii't know. 1 haven't tried it
myself," Gaskins said. "If that's true
it's not the kind of thing we want ad
vertised because more people might
Pyatte said most of the mailboxes
at Shallotte Post Office are similar
to his. They have a small, glass win
dow in front and can be unlocked
easily without a key.
"The post office is charging us 29
cents for a stamp," he said. "I think
the post office can afford to go in
and put new boxes in."
Pyatte said six checks totaling be
tween $5,(HH) and Sft.tMK) were sto
len from his mailbox. He said the
thief usually deposited about half of
the check in the business bank ac
count and got the other half back as
"It's been a real ordeal," Pyatte
said last week. "We work on a bud
get. When you miss a couple checks
it messes up your budget...We're
pretty well back up to par now."
In addition to creating a hardship
for the business, Pyatte also had wa
ter service cut off at his home. Water
bills and a cut-off notice were pre
sumably stolen with the rest of his
pr ?'?1 ? ? ?
U ^ + * ?
* * *
The Public Is Invited
A Free Bar-B-Que
In Honor Of
Senator R.C. Soles, Jr.
Meet The Democratic Candidates
Saturday, April 9, 4:30-6 pm
* Town Creek Township Park, Winnabow
Register to Win a $50 Savings Bond
if Paid for by R.C. Soles Jr., Candidate for N.C. Senate
Q9?4THt BftuNSWtC* Bf ACON |
Cultural Arts Fair Slated
Shallotte Middle School parents grade and every classroom.
will catch a glimpse of cultures from "Not just social studies, but art.
around the globe next Thursday communication skills?you deal
evening. April 14. when they come with cultural arts in everything."
to pick up report cards and talk with said Jerry Brown, a sixth grade so
teachcrs. cial studies teacher.
Parents' night will feature a cui- nj h( h jns a( 4
tural arts lair coordinated by the so
cial studies committee. The first The fair will also be open to stu
such fair attempted by the school, it dents Thursday after all exhibits are
is expected to feature student pro- mounted and Friday morning before
jects and classwork from every they are dismantled.
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