NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A United States Postal Service worker is under arrest.
Instead of delivering mail, the Brooklyn mail carrier is accused of hoarding it.
Alexsey Germash is charged with stealing and hoarding more than 17,000 pieces of mail.
Germash is a 16-year veteran of the USPS and worked in the Dyker Heights station.
"There's no excuse for what he did," said coworker Rob Cardazone. "He's got a daughter that right now he's supporting in college. It's heartbreaking. A lot of years on the job, not a wiseguy, just he probably thought it was easier to do what he was doing."
Investigators were tipped off by residents who reported seeing a stash of bulging blue mail bag. Police raided Germash's home and found that the oldest postmark on one of the letters was 2005.
Investigators found a parked blue SUV on 73rd Street that belonged to the suspect and say it was loaded with more than 20 full blue bags of undelivered mail, Carlin reported.
Prosecutors say Germash told them he made it a point to deliver all the first class mail, and kept back mainly circulars and advertisements, which is why some mail customers on his route might not have noticed a thing.
"We are always getting a lot of mail every day," said Dyker Heights resident Richard McLaughlin. "I can't say we're missing any mail."
"I definitely think people - especially if they're working for the government - need to do their job," said Dyker Heights resident Brandi Prezioso.
No one answered the door at Germash's apartment, and CBS2's Dave Carlin was turned away when trying to get comment from Germash's bosses at the Dyker Heights station.
Germash went before a judge and was released on $25,000 bail.
If convicted, he faces five years in prison.
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