Investigation into 7 tampered USPS mail collection boxes ongoing; upgraded secure boxes coming soon

Crime
post office theft

Mailboxes at Glen Allen Post office under investigation (Photo: Tyler Thrasher)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The investigation involving the tampering of several Richmond-area mail collection boxes is still “active and ongoing,” according to the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Six months ago in October 2020, USPS received several calls from post offices that had their mailboxes vandalized, including these seven locations:

Henrico

  • Glen Allen Post Office, 4990 Sadler Place
  • Regency Station, 2000 Starling Drive
  • Lakeside Station, 2100 E. Parham Road

Chesterfield

  • Pocoshock Creek Station, 7510 Lady Blair Lane
  • Midlothian Main Post Office, 1201 Sycamore Square Drive
  • Genito Station, 3530 Post Office Road

Richmond

  • Westhampton Station, 805 Glenburnie Road

USPS offered up to $10,000 as a reward for information that could lead to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for tampering with the mail collection boxes.

While the case is still ongoing, USPIS says they cannot comment on security measures in place.

However, they were able to share that “the U.S. Postal Service has an initiative in place to replace blue collection boxes with newer and more secure models.”  

mail collection
Mailboxes at Henrico County USPS location blocked off by yellow caution tape. (Photo: Tyler Thrasher)

With the upcoming November Virginia Governor’s election, the postal service remains firm that the “mail is very secure.”

“Postal Inspectors are ready to assist with any allegations of mail theft or mail fraud,” Postal Inspector Michael Romano said. “The U.S. Postal Service processes over 187 million pieces of mail and delivers to over 158 million delivery points each day and very few of these mail pieces are reported as lost or stolen.  As with any theft, these are crimes of opportunity.”

Romano shared the following mail-theft prevention tips:

1. When possible, deposit outgoing mail inside a Post Office or physically hand it to a Mail Carrier.

2. Don’t leave your mail unattended or in your mailbox overnight.

3. If you’re going to be away, place a Hold Mail request online at USPS.com.

4. If you mail a gift card, maintain a copy of the receipt.

5. Never send cash via the U.S. Mail.

Theft of mail is a federal offense punishable up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 (18 USC 1708).

To learn more about the Postal Inspectors’ mission involving the security of the U.S. Mail, you can visit www.USPIS.gov.

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