Thief or thieves break into P.O. Boxes at Bakersfield Post Office


P.O. box customers are speaking out after a pair of break-ins at a local post office.A number of postal office boxes – often referred to as P.O. boxes – were broken into by a thief or thieves at the United States Postal Office on Pegasus Dr.

Teresa martin said she was shocked Wednesday morning to find her box wide open. Everything inside was gone. For her, it’s déjà vu.

“I came in last week, there were two boxes broken into,” Martin said. “And then I came in this morning, this is the box we get a lot of our checks in, and it’s been broken into.”

Martin is not the only victim. Business owner Lynne Whitezell said her P.O. Box was broken into twice over the last 24 days.

“It’s more than a nuisance,” she said. “You just don’t know what kind info people can gain from your mail. We run our business through that P.O. Box. We thought it would be so much safer from our box in front of our house, which has been broken into multiple times.”

It appears there was a surveillance camera present above some of the boxes, but a representative from the USPS. said investigating inspectors would not confirm whether it was working. Even so, camera or no camera, the U.S. Postal Service advertises P.O. boxes are safe. A poster at the post office where the crime occurred reads, “keep important deliveries and documents secure with a P.O. box.”

Postal service representative Jeff Fitch provided the following statement to 17 News:

“We take this very seriously, and are always assessing security. We are actively investigating these break-ins with a potential penalty of up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine…We repair these boxes once they have been broken into.”

But victims said that never happened, leaving them unsure about what to do next.

“They have not fixed the boxes that got broken into last week,” said Martin, continuing, “They were supposed to be fixed that day. I came the next day, they were still broke.”

“I don’t know where to go,” Whitezell said. “If our mail is not safe at the local post office, where is it safe?”

Fitch said the United States Postal Service Is offering a reward up to $10,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thief or thieves.     
If you had mail stolen or are witnessing a mailbox theft, contact local law enforcement or the enforcement branch of the U.S. Postal Service at 1-877-876-2455.

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