U.S Postal service to implement measures to combat mail theft following pressure from Rep. Grace Meng

USPS relay box (Photo via Twitter/Grace Meng)

U.S. Rep Grace Meng announced Wednesday that the U.S. Postal Service will implement recommendations from a federal investigation that showed that the agency was not doing enough to combat mail theft in Queens. 

The investigation, the first-ever probe into mail theft in Queens, was launched by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General after Meng urged it to conduct an audit. Results were released in late May, revealing flaws in the mail system that led to elevated theft levels. The report contained strategies to combat it.

The investigation revealed that some post office branches failed to track and secure the green relay boxes used to store mail. The green boxes are located next to the blue mail collection boxes and are used by delivery people as storage while doing their rounds.

Additionally, results showed that many post office branches did not properly track and install high-security and electronic lock boxes designed to protect the green and blue designated boxes. The local facilities also failed to maintain the green and blue boxes, which resulted in boxes with cracks and gaps in their doors– making them vulnerable to theft.

Last month, Meng sent letters to U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who is the head of the Postal Service, and John Tortorice, the district manager overseeing postal operations in Queens, calling on the two leaders to fix the problems outlined in the report. The Postal Service replied to Meng’s letters, stating it would implement the recommendations and changes. The changes could be implemented as soon as October.

Postal offices across Queens will implement changes following a federal investigation that revealed mismanagement of mail theft reduction efforts.Anthony Medina

Meng said in a statement that over the past two years, she has been advocating for the postal service to do more to combat the rampant mail theft in Queens. Given how problematic the theft can be for residents, she believes it is crucial to implement the recommendations.

“From checks and credit card statements to medication and personal items, everybody in our borough is entitled to safely send and receive their mail. I will continue to keep up the pressure on postal officials, and make sure that the recommendations are implemented,” she said. 

The report gave seven recommendations, including developing and implementing a plan to combat mail theft nationwide and creating a system to inspect and track the location of green relay boxes frequently.