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Additional postal inspectors come to Albuquerque to help combat mail theft

Brittany Costello, The Associated Press
March 10, 2017 10:22 PM

From letters to bills, even packages, it seems nothing is safe. Thieves continue to target and break into mailboxes around the metro and around the state.

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But something is finally being done to stop it. The U.S. Postal Service has agreed to add two more postal inspectors in the Albuquerque office.

The announcement was made Friday by U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham. The New Mexico Democrat met with the chief postal inspector last year after hearing from constituents about mail thefts.

Lujan Grisham says mailbox break-ins are a major problem, especially for elderly, disabled and low-income residents who may have difficulties traveling to the nearest post office to pick up their mail or prescriptions drugs.

The congresswoman's office says the Postal Service is replacing older neighborhood delivery collection box units with high-security boxes in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. The service also pledged to take other measures to prevent mail theft.

Just this week, a neighborhood in Northwest Albuquerque was hit by mail thieves. Bosque Meadows place seems like a quiet neighborhood, few cars pass from time to time, but it's not a high trafficked area.

“I guess we got complacent about this neighborhood,” said Barbara Eberhardt, the captain of the neighborhood watch.

Eberhardt said Tuesday morning she stumbled upon a broken cluster mailbox. The collection box slot was twisted, and all the mailbox doors swung wide open. It appeared, most of the mail inside had been stolen.

“People are crazy and then to have this happen right here so close to the main thoroughfare,” said Eberhardt.

Frustration and disbelief don't begin to cover it. We see it time and time again all over the metro. Last year, people were captured on camera breaking into boxes in Northeast Albuquerque.

One thing is clear, victims are fed up.

“I don't put mail in there to go out anymore because they've broken into it before. This was not the first time,” said Garth Corey, a previous mail theft victim.

There's no telling what they're making off with.

“The really potentially serious problem of somebody tracking just some little code on a piece of mail, let alone your checks or bills or which is the biggest problem,” said Eberhardt. “It's what they're after.”

Credits

Brittany Costello, The Associated Press

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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