PEN – 5/13/17 – Over the past several years, in an effort to save costs, USPS has been avidly changing postal customers delivery mode from delivery at your door or curbside mailbox to cluster boxes. This move has proven effective toward reducing postal expenses but devastating for protection of postal customers private mail. It seems that theft from these cluster boxes is increasing by an alarming rate – as referenced by all of the news coverage across the nation. Below is yet another example of how the mode of USPS cluster box delivery may soon become your worst enemy when it comes to your private mail and packages.
LA Daily News – Mail theft hit home for Arvey Guihama in late April, after a package with toys for his young daughter was snatched from the mailbox at his Pacoima residence.
“My wife was expecting a package from a friend,” said the Branford Village homeowners association vice president on Friday. “The friend gave a certified tracking number. When it said it was delivered, she went to the mailbox and nothing was there … I was ticked off and have a personal vendetta now and want to make sure we get them.”
Thieves hit the central mailboxes for 120 residences, including Guihama’s, on April 26 in the gated community of Branford Village at the 12600 block of Branford Street, authorities and residents said.
The thefts occurred around 2:45 p.m. when two women and a man entered the community in a white Infiniti with a Lyft decal, Guihama said.
“They knew what they were doing,” Guihama said. “They were waiting for someone to drive through the gate and handle their business. You only know if you’ve been there before where the mailbox is. It’s hidden well from people passing by.”
A spokeswoman for the United States Postal Inspection Service – the law enforcement and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service – said the video has been “extremely helpful” in efforts to catch the trio.
“You can see faces and identifying marks,” said USPIS spokeswoman Stacia Crane. Mail theft is punishable by up to five years in federal prison and fines, she added.