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Philippa Lynette Lindsay (32), of Frankton, whose occupation was listed as ‘‘postal worker'', stood with her hands clasped when she appeared before Judge Lawrence Ryan in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.
She faces one indictably laid charge of stealing mail and parcels, between September 1, 2010 and November 9, 2012.
Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin said police were seeking an extension to January 30 to file written statements. The extension was required because of the ‘‘significant amount of police work to be undertaken''.
‘‘In terms of the position . . . there's in the range of 17,000, shall we say, unopened items of mail that have [started to be] delivered over the course of this weekend. ‘‘There are still 500 opened items.''
Police needed to contact both the senders of the opened items and the intended recipients to ascertain what items ‘‘may or may not have been taken''.
Judge Ryan granted the extension to January 30 and remanded Lindsay on bail to February 14 for a post-committal conference.
Lindsay, who had been contracted by NZ Post, was arrested on November9 and charged after police found thousands of items stored in her Frankton home and in a storage unit in Arrowtown.
She had since lost her job and had been prohibited from entering any NZ Post store.
On Sunday, 20 postal workers delivered overdue mail to more than 1300 addresses in the Fernhill and Sunshine Bay, Lake Hayes Estate and Arrowtown communities. Where occupants were not at home, the posties left a card with NZ Post's contact details so another time for delivery could be arranged.
It is expected to take weeks to complete the deliveries.
NZ Post said it would use ‘‘all available resources'' to locate the intended recipients, including those who no longer lived in the area.