Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mail Box Thefts on the Rise

Columnist Dan Lieber, who writes for the Fort Worth, Texas Star-Telegram pens, "The problem of thefts from blue U.S. Postal Service collection boxes apparently hasn't gotten any better in the past year. Neither the post office nor the Postal Inspection Service, which investigates mail crimes, will release information to the public when crimes occur."

Michael Johnston, owner of USMailboxes, is quoted as saying, "It's basically a crime that's not being prosecuted because there's too much of it to deal with. The way I see it and experience it, it has increased tremendously in the last few years. It started out as a way for thieves to get drug money. Now the recession has made it worse."

According to Dan, Johnston was hired by the post office to strengthen the blue collection boxes in his home state of Oregon.

"We went around and put those security bars on to help make it harder to break into without a key," he said. "We also put a heavier lock that was harder to pick. And they put special locking nuts on the bolts in the ground so they couldn't easily be taken off. I don't know how to make them stronger. I don't think they know either. The biggest problem up here now is they throw a chain around it and yank it out of the ground."

Postal Inspection Service spokesman Michael J. Romano suggests when possible, customers should avoid placing mail in a blue collection box after the last posted collection time or on a day mail is not scheduled to be picked up. If they must deposit mail during that time, they should use the lobby drop inside a post office.

Shown above, collection box in Washington state which had allegedly been broken into by three guys and two crowbars.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM