RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is investigating a recent theft from a USPS vehicle in Richmond.

M.J. Romano, the Postal Inspector, said the theft happened on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at around 3 p.m., near 1400 Winder Street.

The agency is looking for a person of interest who was spotted in the area around the time the theft happened.

The person is described as wearing thick black-framed glasses, a hat, a mask, and carrying a black bag.

Savannah Norvell, who has lived in the neighborhood for a few years, said she was surprised to hear about the mail theft. “That was shocking,” she said.

A person of interest was captured on camera around the time of the mail theft. Photo: The U.S. Postal Inspection Service

The USPS vehicle had been tampered with, but it’s not known how much mail was stolen, Romano said.

Robert Thomas, who lives nearby, said he was home around the time it happened.

“Living here for the time that I have, I’ve never heard of anything like that,” he said. “When you look at safety, when you think about people’s mail — wanting to make sure that they get their mail safely or are able to mail it out, it is concerning.”

Romano said if you believe your mail was stolen, report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by calling their hotline 877-876-2455 or by visiting their website at www.uspis.gov. Anyone who may have information about the person of interest pictured in the photo, or who wants to report suspicious activity or has surveillance footage of suspicious individuals during the given timeframe is encouraged to contact the agency’s hotline.

Norvell said she’s concerned for her neighbors who rely on mail deliveries. “I know a lot of our neighbors still do send out bills and things like that with mail,” she said. “You have to consider, especially now, people are sending out condolence cards with COVID.”

Thomas described their mail carrier as a friendly person. He hopes the thief who targeted the mail carrier is caught soon. “Especially in broad daylight just a couple of blocks from where I live at? That is concerning,” he said.

Romano said theft of U.S. mail is a federal offense. Anyone who steals mail could face up to five years in prison for each offense.