Madison couple’s mail hijacked; frustrated with post office

By NIKKI ROWELL,

During the 2016 fiscal year, the U.S. Postal Service’s Postal Inspection Service received 60,000 customer complaints regarding attempts to steal mail.

A Madison County couple is finding out just how easy it is for mail to be stolen, even in person.

“We didn’t get any mail starting last Thursday,” she said. “We didn’t think anything about it. We later got a message from Amazon that our package would be delivered a day or two later. Didn’t think much about that.”

By Monday, they started to think that something wasn’t quite right when they had yet to receive a single piece of mail. Especially with school starting back.

“So, I logged in and checked Amazon,” she said, “found out (the package) was sitting in the Madison post office since Friday.”

She followed up with the post office on Monday. Her call was returned on Tuesday morning, and she found out that someone had impersonated her husband, placed their mail on hold, then went into the post office and picked it up the day before.

“Then I spoke with the supervisor,” she said. “He said that had never happened before. Basically, someone got on the computer and put in our address, phone number and email. They had all this information, including an old phone number. He created an email account in my husband’s name and held the mail.”

She said when she went in on Tuesday to figure out what was going on, the supervisor told her the man was not asked to show an ID. The next day, someone else told her they were standing there when the supervisor went up to the clerk and asked to make sure an ID was shown.

“We also wanted to know if there is any recordings or video of this guy,” she said. “We couldn’t get a straight answer about that. We were told there are video cameras, but they are monitored remotely and the postal inspector would have to check that out.”

Later, she was told there are monitors in the back where staff can watch what the cameras are recording.

“Now we have set up a postal inspector case,” she said.

However, after filing with the postal inspectors, she received a call from customer affairs to tell them how to handle their mail and make sure it is secure moving forward.

The Madison Police Department told her they cannot do anything until the postal service’s investigation is complete.

Next, she and her husband tried to create an informed delivery account, which allows users to see what mail they are receiving, just to find out the same man had already created an account.

“The man had already made an account in our names and had been watching since July 23,” she said.

So, since then, he has gained access to their children’s welcome information from school, including their teachers’ names and school bus routes; bank statements; credit union statement; retirement plan statement; bills; and a credit card application.

“We have gotten nowhere with (the post office)” she said. “They have not been helpful or forthcoming with information at all.”

According to United States law, federal mail theft is a felony. If one is charged with mail theft, he or she could face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

Mail theft includes stealing or taking any posted item, including packages and postcards. Mail theft includes the purchase, receipt or possession of mail that one knows is stolen.

Hiding or destroying mail also constitutes mail theft.

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