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USPS mismanaged mail theft safeguards all over Queens, investigation finds

Mail theft victims in Queens react to scathing report on USPS
Mail theft victims in Queens react to scathing report on USPS 01:57

NEW YORK -- The U.S. Postal Service "mismanaged" safeguards intended to prevent mail theft in Queens, according to an investigation spurred on by U.S. Rep Grace Meng.  

The report released by the USPS Inspector General's Office found post office facilities did not properly deploy and install "mail theft mitigation" initiatives throughout the borough, according to Meng. 

"Mail theft is a persistent problem in Queens"

"The inspector general's report confirms what we have long known: mail theft is a persistent problem in Queens, but it is far worse than previously known. From checks and packages to prescriptions and personal information, the gross mismanagement by the Postal Service created a permissive environment for thieves to take advantage of borough residents. Local management must be held accountable," said Meng.

Specifically, investigators found post offices failed to track and secure keys to green relay boxes, which are used to store mail to lighten the load for mail carriers. In 2023, CBS New York found videos appearing to show relay boxes being broken into in Astoria. 

Queens residents have been complaining about stolen mail for years. The borough was flagged as an area of focus for the nationwide audit by the postal service at the beginning of 2024. 

In April, the USPS promised to take action to secure keys as nationwide mail theft complaints skyrocketed from less than 60,000 in 2018 to 250,000 in 2023

Separately, the post office has also begun urging customers to upgrade to larger mailboxes, which it says are better for receiving packages from online retailers. 

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