Lexington couple accused of trading stolen mail for gift cards

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington couple is facing mail theft charges after police say they traded stolen mail for gift cards.

Police say 36-year-old Gary Hiles broke into a home on Stonewood Lane a couple weeks ago.

The homeowner, Mike Coppersmith, tells us he stole jewelry and guitars worth about $10,000.

Investigators believe he also stole mail, which his wife traded for gift cards.

Police tell us Catherine Hiles, 40, confessed to taking the stolen mail to a store, where it was exchanged for gift cards that were then sold to pawn shops.

Police say she admitted she had mail that was stolen from three different homes.

According to her arrest citation, a few weeks ago she also wrote two cold checks which cost several businesses about $500.

She is charged with possession of stolen mail, second-degree forgery and theft by deception.

Her husband is charged with second-degree burglary.

We've learned from court documents that this is the third time he has faced charges of this nature.

In 1997 and 2008 he was charged with theft by deception after he was accused of writing cold checks, according to court records.

Coppersmith says the guitars and jewelry stolen from his home belong to his parents. He tells us the items are insured but the sentimental value can't be replaced.

He says a couple weeks Gary Hiles noticed he was trying to sell his home and called him, asking to see the house. Coppersmith tells us Hiles never showed and then a day later the home was burglarized.

"There is a sense of violation and also a sense of fear that comes with it. Is it going to happen again or am I safe here?" he asked.

The Hiles are scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment Thursday afternoon.

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