2 accused of mail theft in Eau Claire County, facing multiple charges

According to a criminal complaint, authorities received a report that a vehicle had been broken...
According to a criminal complaint, authorities received a report that a vehicle had been broken into and “several items were stolen” in the City of Eau Claire, Eau Claire County.(MGN)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 6:57 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Two people are accused of mail theft in Eau Claire County.

Court records show 50-year-old Erin Gaulke of Eau Claire is facing charges of theft of mail (30 or more pieces of mail) PTAC, as a party to a crime, concealing stolen property (<=$2500), PTAC, as a party to a crime, and misdemeanor theft, PTAC as party to a crime. Repeater of each offense.

Court records show 37-year-old Ashley Stevens is facing charges of theft of mail (30 or more pieces of mail), possession of THC, concealing stolen property (<=$2500), bail jumping-misdemeanor, theft-movable property (<=$2500). Repeater of each offense.

According to a criminal complaint, in June of 2022, authorities received a report that a vehicle had been broken into and “several items were stolen” in the City of Eau Claire, Eau Claire County. The informant said that they saw the suspects leave in a “white rental van” prior to calling the police. The informant described the vehicle as “having a large “$19.95″ on the side”, noted to be typical of a U-Haul rental truck.

The criminal complaint says officers conducted a search of the U-Haul at a storage unit and found pieces of mail and documents that belonged to various Eau Claire residents. The officer also found a document that identified Gaulke as the sole renter of the U-Haul vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint, officers found a glass pipe with what “appeared to be methamphetamine residue” that later tested positive for methamphetamine. A passport was also found that didn’t belong to either suspect. In a duffle bag, officers found additional mail that belonged to various other people among other items. The criminal complaint says there were “24 pieces of mail” found in the U-Haul.

The criminal complaint says officers entered the storage unit and found Stevens “hiding in a back corner behind several boxes and various items.” The criminal complaint notes officers suspect “drug paraphernalia was seen in plain view” throughout the unit. Many items of mail and document belonging to various people were found in the unit. The criminal complaint says there was “over 30 pieces of mail” found in the storage unit that did not belong to Stevens or Gaulke.

In an interview with authorities, Gaulke denied stealing any items. The criminal complaint says Gaulke changed his story “numerous times.” Stevens denied stealing anything at any time and that said “she would never steal anything.”

In interviews, they each accused the other of stealing, but each denied that they themselves stole.

In the interview with Stevens, it appeared to the officer that Stevens was “under the influence of methamphetamine.”

Both Gaulke and Stevens are scheduled for a court hearing on Aug 4., 2022.

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