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Mail thief caught on camera using postal master key in Bucktown

Mail thief caught on camera using postal master key 01:37

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A thief was caught stealing from people's mailboxes on surveillance video inside a Bucktown building.

As seen in some other similar cases lately, she had the tool to get right into the mailboxes.

As CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported Wednesday night, the woman is seen on video walking into the building on Charleston Street as if she belonged. But she had no business inside whatsoever.

"It looks like she had done this many times before," said one resident, Kristen.

The woman was seen pulling out a master postal key and stealing mail from the mailboxes. She stole packages too.

"I feel very violated myself," Kristen said.

Kristen is one of dozens with stolen items taken by the postal thief. She got a notification about her delivered package, only to find no sign of it.

"I went to go check the mail room - nothing here," she said.

Building management checked the cameras and discovered the thief. Remember, she was using a master key only postal workers are supposed to carry.

"It turns out a lot of people in the area have experienced something similar," Kristen said. "We didn't know until it happened to us."

CBS 2 has exposed this growing problem before – talking to many victims of mailbox thieves. Meanwhile, across the city, those master postal keys keep getting into the hands of crooks.

"Those keys don't just float around," a property manager told CBS 2's Terry in 2020. "They're kind of difficult to get."

Countless crimes have been captured on camera, and two years later, the mail thefts keep coming.

Kristen has filed complaints with both Chicago Police and the U.S. Postal Police.

"I'm planning to freeze my credit for any new accounts to be open," she said.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service said it is investigating what the Bucktown mail thief did – but still, no one can explain how the key ended up in the thief's hands.

U.S. Postal inspectors encourage anyone to report any suspicion of mail theft. It is not clear if the woman in the Bucktown incident is connected to other such thefts.

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