MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -

A former Duluth mail carrier has been sentenced to probation for stealing rebate checks and other items from residents along his route.

Forty-nine-year-old Giang Nguyen, of Superior, Wis., was also ordered to pay more than $1,000 in restitution and perform 100 house of community service. He pleaded guilty to theft of mail by a postal employee in federal court.

As part of a plea agreement, Nguyen admitted stealing Menards rebate checks and scratch-off cards from 45 residents along his rural route. Nguyen stole at least 77 pieces of mail worth a total of $1,500.

The Star Tribune says the defense argued for leniency, noting that Nguyen was in debt and was sending money to his mother in Vietnam.