VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — “Do not use. Come inside.” That’s the message on the blue mailboxes outside the Acredale Post Office in Virginia Beach’s Kempsville neighborhood.
A sign on the boxes warns of a US Postal Inspection Service Crime Alert. It says authorities are investigating blue collection box tampering. It says thieves may be stealing checks and other financial documents to commit fraud.
Customer Lenora Thompson said she’s mailed a letter before that was never delivered.
“I had sent my grandniece a check for her birthday she never received it,” Thompson said. “All of these situations just has me very leery about mailing any checks or gifts via the mail.”
Another customer, Delphine Geter had a similar story.
“I have put mail in there and it never got to the place,” she said. “It was a bill so they never received it at all.”
Across town at the Seapines post office at the oceanfront, the same sign is on their blue boxes.
“It’s a huge concern because we’re mailing out bills and the bills are arriving late or not arriving at all I mean that ends up to be a real problem for somebody’s credit,” Thompson said.
While some people are taking their chances dropping off bills in the outdoor box at the Seapines office, other customers say they’ll wait in line inside.
“Ever since then I just put my mail in there, inside,” Geter said.
With the Acredale mailboxes now closed, some customers say they’re glad post office leaders appear to be taking the matter seriously.
“It’s an inconvenience but in order to get things where they need to be delivered, I mean if this is a step they have to take, it makes sense then,” Thompson said. “Because I want to put my faith back into the United States Postal Service but right now it’s just not there.”
We reached out to postal service officials about the mail theft investigation but have not heard back just yet.
If you suspect your mail is stolen, you can contact the US Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455. You can also contact USPS online on their official website.