USPS: Mail in blue collection boxes targeted for theft; caution urged

December 07, 2011
Santa Paula News

The public is being asked to keep an eye out for suspicious activity after reports that mail has gone missing from United States Postal Office’s blue collection boxes.

Postal users are also being urged to deposit mail before scheduled collection box pickups.

About six businesses and individuals have been victimized by the mail thefts, which appear to be random with the thief or thieves gaining access to the box’s contents through an undisclosed method.

The Postal Service issued a formal statement regarding the incidents last week, noting, “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is looking for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for tampering with blue collection boxes in the City of Santa Paula during November.” There are four blue collection boxes in Santa Paula, including two at the South Mill Street Post Office’s parking lot. On several occasions checks have been stolen and then cashed, according to several sources including one victim. 

According to representative Stacia Crane, “The Postal Inspection Service is asking the public to report any suspicious activity near collection boxes or Post Offices. Postal Inspectors encourage the public to report a postal crime-in-progress by first contacting the local police, followed by a call to the United States Postal Inspection Service 24-hour National Law Enforcement Communication Center at 1-877-876-2455 and selecting option 2.  Postal Inspectors are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Callers may remain anonymous.”

And anyone who may have witnessed this crime or have information about it is urged to contact Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455 and select option 2, refer to Case No. 1895194. Crane said callers may remain anonymous. Postal Inspectors also suggest depositing mail prior to the last collection time posted on the collection box, and not let mail sit in the boxes overnight.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the country. For more than 200 years, Postal Inspectors have protected the U.S. Postal Service, secured the nation’s mail system and ensured public trust in the mail. 

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