Mail - theft - union Mail is not as safe as it used to be after groups of criminals discovered how to open blue mail collection boxes in certain parts of the country.
Image via AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file.

Mail theft is becoming a national problem and has alarmed members of Congress, postal unions, and postal police officers.

Mail is not as safe as it used to be after groups of criminals discovered how to open blue mail collection boxes in certain parts of the country. 

In addition, attacks on postal workers have recently been reported in Florida, mainly in the central region.

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Two men attacked a mail carrier in March in the Millenia area of Orlando, according to police. The man in charge of the robbery recruited others to steal mail, alter stolen checks, and deposit them into bank accounts at branches around the area.

A US Postal Service letter carrier was also robbed while delivering mail in Orlando in early October, and the US Postal Inspection Service offered up to $50,000 for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

The Postal Police Officers Association President Frank Albergo told Yahoo! News that if the postal police officers (PPOs) were allowed to patrol the situation, it wouldn’t have escalated to this point.

In 2020, a judge decided PPOs should only perform law enforcement duties inside post offices and USPS property, leaving mail carriers and universal arrow keys, which can be used to open the blue mail collection boxes, without protection.

Mail theft is becoming a national problem and has alarmed members of Congress, postal unions, and postal police officers.

In the fiscal year 2021, the US Postal Inspection Service made 1,511 arrests for mail theft. In the current fiscal year, there were already 1,142 arrests by early September when the US House Oversight Subcommittee on Government Operations revealed the extent of the problem.

Authorities suspect that the attacks in Central Florida are from a single organization.

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Albergo said in addition to the investigation of the incidents, resources should be focused on preventing more attacks and thefts.

“It’s an easy crime to prevent. It’s called postal police officers.  I mean, can we stop it completely? No. Can we stop it from escalating in a given area? 100%, yes,” he said.