Federal investigators are adding another recent round of thefts to the rising number of unsolved cases at Oahu post offices.
P.O. box customer Tracei Medeiros, who lives in Maile, recently discovered the Nanakuli P.O. box she shares with her sister was opened. Important mail was stolen.
“I open the P.O. box and the thing just opened like that, and all our mail was gone. They stole my sister’s credit card that came in the mail. They went over there (to) FastStop, try to withdraw $430 from her card,” Medeiros said. “I mean really, what do you get out of it? You went try to use the credit card, you couldn’t. So what are you really getting out of taking people’s mail?”
Medeiros is one of several victims at the Nanakuli Post Office.
“They took my social security mail, because I know I’m supposed to get something for social security. They took all our mail. I only come check my mailbox before like every four days, because it’s a P.O. box, you know? You feel safe. But now I don’t feel safe, so I come every day,” Medeiros said.
The U.S. Postal Service reported seven P.O. box break-ins on April 30. On April 24, there were four break-ins. On March 29, there were also four.
The Postal Service says the Waianae, Kaneohe, and Makiki post offices were also hit by thieves this year.
Each post office has its own separate security standards. The Nanakuli branch once had a padlock at the door, but thieves broke it.
“I want to know how come they don’t put a regular door lock on that thing, and make it to where (there are) certain times you check your mail,” said Medeiros.
We brought Medeiros’ concerns to U.S. postal inspector Jeff Fitch, who said the Postal Service can’t comment on what it’s doing to better protect people’s mail for fear of thieves striking again, but assured that finding the thieves responsible for the multiple-break-ins is a priority.
“We have a number of investigative efforts going on. There are postal inspectors in Honolulu actively working these cases,” said Fitch.
Stealing mail is a felony. Consequences include time in federal prison up to five years and penalties up to $250,000 in fines.
No one has been caught yet, but the Postal Service is offering a $10,000 reward for any information that can lead to arrests.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Postal Service’s 24-hour number at 877-876-2455.