CARTHAGE, Mo. — Approximately 170 Jasper County residents can expect a call about their stolen mail after authorities followed up a string of mail thefts from last week.

As part of their investigation, on Sunday Jasper County deputies visited a motel room in Carthage that had been rented by two suspected mail thieves – Emily Sturgis and Aaron Blake.

In the room officials say they located opened mail containing W-2 forms, car titles, financial statements and more belonging to Jasper County residents. Authorities said they will work to return all the mail they found to their rightful owners.

More charges have been filed since the discovery as both the Joplin Police Department and Newton County Sheriff’s Office assist with the investigation.

The Newton County Prosecutor charged Sturgis with forgery after officials say she tried to cash two different checks at a Community Bank and Trust on January 10, 2023. Joplin Police say Sturgis stole the checks from a resident who reportedly ordered checks through the mail, but never received them.

Bank employees told police they contacted the account-holder when the checks were presented. That person confirmed they had never received their checks in the mail and they were in fact stolen. Police say Sturgis left her driver’s license behind when she became suspicious about the length of time it was taking to cash the check.

Blake and Sturgis both appeared in Jasper County Court today and both pleaded not guilty to the charge of felony stealing. Blake is being held on a $25,000 bond, Sturgis’ bond is set at $10,000.


Joplin duo arrested on stolen mail charges

JOPLIN, Mo. — Two people from Joplin were arrested Thursday after an investigation into reports of stolen mail, Jasper County authorities said.

The search began after Jasper County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call for a suspicious vehicle stopping in front of houses near Fleece Lane & North Peace Church Ave. in Joplin. The caller provided a license plate number and vehicle description.

Detectives working the area say they saw a vehicle fitting the description given at a Casey’s in Carl Junction. Police said discovered multiple items of mail in the vehicle, marked with different addresses.

Driver Emily Sturgis, 30, and passenger Aaron Blake, 27, were taken into custody on charges of stealing.

The investigation remains ongoing with the potential for more charges.