SEATTLE — The U.S. Postal Inspector, Seattle Division, says at least three USPS mail trucks have been stolen in West Seattle just in January.
Two incidents happened on Tuesday in West Seattle’s Alki neighborhood.
Thieves ransacked the trucks and took off with mail and packages before abandoning the vehicles just blocks away from where the vehicles were taken.
“Unbelievable. Unbelievable! Are they staking it out?” said Dean Bachmayer.
The thefts happened between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
John Wiegand, U.S. Postal Inspector, says the letter carriers followed proper protocol and left the vehicles locked and secured.
“They returned to the spot they were parking at, and the trucks were gone. They were able to immediately notify us,” Weigand said. None of the letter carriers were harmed.
One USPS truck was stolen in the 3600 block of 57th Place SW. Another was taken from the 3300 block of Beach Drive SW, right along the waterfront.
Investigators are asking people to be on the lookout for a truck seen near both scenes. “It looks like a late 90s purple Ford Ranger, potentially with a black canopy on the back,” Wiegand said.
He says it’s unclear how the suspects got inside the mail trucks.
“In neither of these instances were the vehicles left running. These are sophisticated thieves. They know how to get into all types of vehicles, whether it’s hotwiring, whether it’s through shaved keys. They’ve got all sorts of tools, so we’re still running the exact line,” Weigand said.
Sherin Babaei is now wondering if her mail was impacted.
“An entire mail truck is kind of crazy, especially if it happened in the middle of the day,” Babaei said. “Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I checked, and there wasn’t anything there – so potentially, I didn’t get my mail yesterday,” she said.
Wiegand says USPS truck thefts are already a rare crime nationwide. So for three to happen in January in West Seattle, two of them within 30 minutes, makes this situation very unusual.
“It’s not common at all,” Wiegand said.
If you were expecting mail with sensitive information, like a credit/debit card or checkbook, and didn’t receive it, you can contact the United States Postal Inspection Service at www.uspis.gov/.
You can also call the 24-hour hotline at 1877-876-2455.
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