A policy change could be to blame for increased mail theft across our area, a postal insider told the News4 I-Team.
The head of the Postal Police Officers Association says the U.S. Postal Service removed its uniformed officers from patrols that deter those kinds of crimes, instead stationing them inside postal processing facilities.
“It’s nuts; it’s absolutely crazy,” said Frank Albergo, president of the PPOA. “They pulled us off the street. There are no more marked postal police vehicles out in the street. I mean, it’s actually inviting crime.”
Albergo contacted the I-Team after seeing a November investigation featuring Maryland families who reported having checks stolen from blue collection boxes. One eyewitness even saw the thieves in action, using a special arrow key that unlocks all of the blue mailboxes within a given area. Court records show carriers are frequently targeted for their keys.
“For years, we were patrol officers who protected letter carriers and the blue collection boxes on the corner,” said Postal Police Officer Eric Freeman. “We need to be out on the streets instead of at the plants.”