by: David Ham Updated:
SEATTLE, Wash. - The United States Postal Inspector's Office is investigating a series of post office box break-ins at the Lake City Post Office Branch.
Jack Kleinart said he found out that his post office box was tampered with when he checked his mail last week.
"That's why we have a post office box in the first place is for the security," said Kleinart.
A spokesperson for the Postal Inspector's Office said that the post office box owners who were impacted got letters dropped in their mailboxes. However, Kleinart said he never received one.
The spokesperson added that he wasn't sure if other post office box holders were notified of the ongoing problem of post office box break-ins at that location.
"It makes me consider whether or not I want to continue to have my mail delivered to the post office," said Chris Rich, who also rents a post office box at that location.
She and other neighbors say they rented the boxes because of an increase in mailbox thefts in the area over the past few years.
"We pay for post office boxes so there ought to be some level of service to folks to have their mail delivered there," said Rich.
USPS spokesperson Ernie Swanson said that the Lake City location will start to lock doors to the lobby of the post office as a way to cut down on the break-ins.
The U.S. Postal Inspector's Office added that post office box break-ins in Seattle are rare, and inspectors are looking into ways to make that location safer.
Kleinart isn't so sure the location is a safe place for his mail and everyone else's after learning about this ongoing problem.
"There's no reason to believe they couldn't get in the back part of the facility and go through the rest of the mail as well," said Kleinart.
The U.S. Postal Inspector's Office said breaking into post office boxes is both a state and federal offense.
If convicted, offenders could face up to 15 years in prison.
Post office box holders say they were never notified by USPS about break-ins
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