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Topic: Reporting possible mailbox thief

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Subject: Reporting possible mailbox thief
Date Posted: 7/26/2007 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 112
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I placed some stuff in my mailbox for my carrier to pick up in the morning. I put them in there the night before so that I wont forget. Well some odd stuff happened in the middle of the night. When I left my house at 9am the packages were gone and I had no mail. If I have no mail my mail woman doesn't even stop by and things have to spend another night. So i'm pretty sure they were stolen.

Do I just tell the post office or do I have to go through the trouble of filing a police report. The stuff wasn't very expensive, and I dont really want to bother if it is a long process. It's not likely they will catch or do anything about the person who did it.

Angie -
Date Posted: 7/26/2007 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 3,299
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I would report it just so they have it on record. More likely than not, you aren't the only person that has had mail stolen, at least they'll have a better idea of the extent of the theft if everyone who had mail stolen report it, especially since a lot of people might not have realized it.

I would talk to your mail person first though, just to be sure it was stolen. And if you had anything that gives away personal info. in the mail, put a fraud alert on your information asap.



Last Edited on: 7/26/07 12:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/26/2007 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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definitely report it to the police and the post office so there is a record.

it is a shame that you can't put things in mailboxes anymore without wondering if it will be there later on.  I pass by a post office on my way to work so I'll drop anything off in the blue boxes there.  better safe than sorry especially if there is a check involved

Date Posted: 7/26/2007 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 112
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I'm for sure it was stolen. Got home and I had mail in there. ugh! I don't want to go through the hassle. Oh well it must be done. Sucks one was a book for a PBSer.

Date Posted: 7/27/2007 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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Definitely report it.  That's what postal inspectors are for.  Tampering with the US mail is a federal crime.  It's also illegal to put something into someone's mail box - such as a flyer.

If there's an identity theft ring operating in your area, the postal service should be on notice. 

Date Posted: 7/27/2007 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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And here's the link for filing online with the Postal Inspectors: https://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/mailthft/mlntrcvd.htm

 

Date Posted: 7/27/2007 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 170
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I stopped putting mail in my box at night after my mailbox was blown up during the night a number of years ago!   We were found pieces of it in our back yard, our neighbors' back yards, etc.   Did a sheriff report, but that was that.  I'm glad there was no mail in it when it blew up! 

I also had mail stolen from my box during the day once, years ago.  Didn't even know it, until the post office contacted us.  I had missed a shipment of crickets (for a lizard we used to own),  that was evidently in the stolen mail!  The police was our address on mail in this guy's car, so I imagine with those crickets dying, that car was starting to smell bad! 

 

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 2,024
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I usually donīt leave my outgoing mail in our mailbox. Especially not when there are checks, books or other stuff involded which could identify me or my husband. Iīd rather drive to the official mailbox than waiting for someone to steal my stuff. That was a huge issue in the apartment complex where we used to live. :-S
Date Posted: 7/28/2007 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 315
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You guys all live in a totally different world than I do -- postal carriers have never, in my lifetime, been willing to pick up mail from any house I've lived in (all in deep urban Chicago).

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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that is odd Eloise...isn't that their job to pick up mail?  did you complain or report them to your post office?

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 315
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It is most emphatically not their job to pick up mail, it is their job to *deliver* mail. It is the job of the people who drive around and empty the blue boxes to pick up mail. And so I was told by a succession of official people at various levels of the 606** hierarchy. When I mentioned that various friends of mine had done it, I was told that either (a) that happened in the fifties before the new policy came in, or (b) they must be way out in the rural sticks where 'the rules are different'.

Date Posted: 7/29/2007 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,537
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Wow!  I've never lived anywhere where the mailman didn't pick up mail and I've lived all over the US and never in the rural sticks.  I have a friend who is a mail carrier in Brooklyn and she most defiintely does pick up and deliver mail on her route.  Wonder why the rules are different in your area.

 

Date Posted: 7/29/2007 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2006
Posts: 11
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I live in Rogers Park in Chicago in a small apt. bldg.  I have always been able to leave outgoing mail  in the lobby at the bldg. mailbox.  Even now, all my outgoing books for PBS are picked up to mail.  So it may be more of a more localized, neighborhood problem than citywide.

After all, according to the latest poll, Chicago has the worst postal service in the country.  (Altho, I've never found that to be true.)

Date Posted: 7/29/2007 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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I have always has luck having postal workers pick up my mail.  However, I find it very irritating that the city I live in, which is almost 200,000, no longer has ANY blue drop boxes.  I mean, NONE!

Date Posted: 7/30/2007 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,537
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Eloise, I emailed my friend who is a mail carrier in NY, specifically in Brooklyn and this is what she said.

   Okay, here's the deal. Mail carriers absolutely DO pick up outgoing mail from residences and businesses. It is explicitly part of the carrier's duties to do this. All you have to do is leave the letter(s) in your mailbox with the flag up on a rural box, or leave the letters in a standard box in such a way that the carrier can find them. A lot of my customers use a bulldog clip to affix them to the front edge of the box. 

 
        The only restriction on pickup is what's called 'target mail,' that is, any parcel weighing more than twelve ounces and bearing stamps. These have to be presented in person at a post office window. The Target Mail policy went into effect after 9/11 because the airlines who transport mail were afraid of bombs in anonymous parcels.
 

          I have seen carriers disciplined for trying to refuse to do pickup along the way, saying it was too heavy or that it slowed them down. Neither excuse would fly. I have NEVER heard of carriers being TOLD not to pick up ordinary mail in the course of delivering their routes -- if I got a line like that from my local office, I'd be on the phone to District to complain just as soon as I picked up my jaw off the floor, and I'm guessing there'd be a supervisor or postmaster in hot water after I made the call!

As for the question that started this thread, here's what she had to say.

 
        And yes, stealing mail -- even a lousy Pennysaver -- is a federal offense; the Postal Inspection Service would handle it internally, but they're on a par with the FBI as far as authority is concerned.
 
        So yes, report stolen mail or the suspicion of it. Send anything important via certified mail with a return receipt so it can be tracked. If it's a thing of value, send it registered and return receipt -- registered mail doesn't travel in the mailstream with everything else; it's handled separately and kept locked in a safe when it's not actually in transit, and only registered pieces have a recorded chain of custody so you'll know exactly what happened to it and when, just in case anything does.
 

        My! I've babbled on. But shirking carriers are a bi-i-i-i-ig pet peeve to those of us who try to do a good job. >:-/

Sandy

 
Date Posted: 7/30/2007 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 315
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I guess it's only because I grew up in a strict no-pickups sort of environment, but I really can't imagine ever *wanting* to leave my mail for the carrier to pick up. It's not hard to find a blue box in Chicago, though actually going to a post office is a linewaiting pain ...



Last Edited on: 7/30/07 5:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1