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05 July 2005 @ 09:58 pm
Stolen Mail  
I have recently discovered that my neighbor is stealing my mail. I walked in on him right when he was doing it once, but I was not 100% certain that he was rifling through it. So, my dad decided to send me a "birthday gift." Lo and behold, one week later, it is not there. I have had DVDs from Netflix come up missing too.

I have already talked to my landlord about it and he seems unconcerned. Is there anything else I can do?


This morning, I called the post office who referred me to my area's postal inspector. After filing a complaint, they told me that it was not a matter that they took lightly and that they would have inspectors look into it. The person also mentioned that they will try something akin to what my dad did with sending a fake letter to entrap him.

When I got home, I wanted to make sure my landlord got my rent check because it hasn't went through yet. He told me that he has not forgotten about the mail issue and that a lock will be installed within two weeks. I told him that I contacted the postal service and he agreed that it was the right thing to do.

Hopefully, the issue will be solved soon.

Thanks everyone for your input. Oh, I also put a note inside my mailbox saying, "DO NOT TOUCH MY MAIL - thank you". Haha.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
staciemeow on July 6th, 2005 02:00 am (UTC)
Report it to the Postmaster? The police?
emmyemmycantbemeeko on July 6th, 2005 02:00 am (UTC)
Get a PO Box is probably the simplest and most hassle-free method of making sure it doesn't happen again.
Kimkimmersxred on July 6th, 2005 02:01 am (UTC)
I say a combination of what others have suggested: contact the postmaster, police and get a po box.
lozoodlelozoodle on July 6th, 2005 02:02 am (UTC)
Do you have a letter box that locks???

Or if not is it possible to arrange to get one that requires a key to open so only you can access the mail? Stealing mail is nasty, especially if you were to have personal documentation from banks etc being sent to you. You don't want people getting their hands on your confidential information.
spaceprostitutespaceprostitute on July 6th, 2005 02:02 am (UTC)
Well, you could...

a) talk to you neighbor (but he's probably not going to give a crap)
b) talk to the post office (but they're probably not going to give a crap)
c) suck it up and rent a PO Box and have important mail sent there so that you know it's fairly secure and locked
lisalisabella on July 6th, 2005 03:24 am (UTC)
Actually, the post office might just give a crap. My mail was stolen and my post office was pissed as hell. It's a federal offense.
sarahlibelle on July 6th, 2005 03:25 am (UTC)
Stealing mail is a federal offense and the post office WILL give a crap. Call them and let them know what's going on!
jmprsjumpers on July 6th, 2005 02:03 am (UTC)
That's a felony, isn't it? so freakin' illegal. Contact the post office definitely, I'm not sure what actions they'll take, but they will do something.
washburnbear on July 6th, 2005 02:09 am (UTC)
Interfering with mail is a federal criminal offense. The post office has a section that investigates this stuff. You should report it. Also, by law in most (U.S.) states, landlords must provide locked mail receptacles to which the assigned tenant and the mail deliverer have the only keys. Your landlord's indifference could get him in hot water, too.

That said, sometimes the only way to make sure you get your mail is to get a P.O. box. The post office has some, and private carriers (Mailbox Etc. for example) offer them. The private carriers are required to carry liability insurance in case an employee interferes with delivery.

Good luck.
Elizabeth: i don't care if you carewatching_ships on July 6th, 2005 02:19 am (UTC)
Go with this and get the police on his tail. Grr. I'm mad for you.
ex_mamarose134 on July 6th, 2005 02:25 am (UTC)
I am also angry on your behalf, this is a very serious crime especially since identity theft is so easy. You might want to double check your bank account and credit card statements, and once the police/post office are involved, get yourself a free credit report. Few people steal mail expecting to find cash.
give me back my fictions: lost/der hobbitmythgene on July 6th, 2005 02:27 am (UTC)
identity theft
Agreed. I actually had a child support check stolen, of all things. Cashed right down the street by some idiot who misspelled my super-common first name. The police never caught him/her and I never got the money. It caused me a lot of grief. Definitely report the guy.
Blessed Holocaust of Tolerance7leaguebootdisk on July 6th, 2005 04:38 am (UTC)
Re: identity theft
Given that you can repudiate a check for some time, why didn't you get the money? The money is not the depositors for sure until 90 days after deposit. I think the person who wrote it has 60 days to dispute it.
Discarded Seamstress: profilediscrddseamstrs on July 6th, 2005 03:14 am (UTC)
Hmm. My former roommate tested a theory once, and found out that our mailbox key unlocks all the mailboxes in our building. Are landlords allowed to put the same lock on multiple mailboxes?
washburnbear on July 6th, 2005 03:19 am (UTC)
I don't think so, because then everyone could get into everyone else's mail. I seem to remember from a conversation with our mail deliverer that when an apartment building has that long row of boxes, the carrier's key opens only the master lock that opens the whole front - he didn't have a separate key for my box. And I've tried my key in others' boxes by accident (light out in mailroom, no glasses, etc.) with no luck (how else would I know to try again). Your local post office would know for sure.
Discarded Seamstressdiscrddseamstrs on July 6th, 2005 03:24 am (UTC)
There's the master lock, and my mailbox key will unlock all 9 mailboxes in the building.

As far as I know, nothing's gone missing, but I will call the post office and check.

Blessed Holocaust of Tolerance7leaguebootdisk on July 6th, 2005 04:43 am (UTC)
Shouldn't be, talk to customer service at your local post office, call the number in the phone book, and it will be routed as needed, or just go in (wait in line if it is closed, but just go to the customer service door and knock or go in if it is open (that is where my mother in law spends many of her days)). They can fit a new lock in a few days, if they have control of the boxes (I suppose some are controlled by the apt complex, but they should have individual keys, not much point if they are all the same).
Married to the Mobthug_wife on July 6th, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC)
this is definately your best bet.
stealing mail is a felony and i would contact both your local police and your post office.
the guy could get in a lot of trouble and some decent jail time.
you shouldn't be put at more of an inconvenience, so go with the legal way instead of just getting a pobox that you'll have to drive to everyday.
give me back my fictionsmythgene on July 6th, 2005 02:18 am (UTC)
that happened to me
You're supposed to report it to these guys: http://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/ They're like the postal police. To keep it from happening again so you should probably get a po box like others have suggested.
Artemis: Mehndix 7 - Boredartyskox on July 6th, 2005 09:36 pm (UTC)
Re: that happened to me
Just a random note.. the postal inspectors are serious when it comes to the job. My mom used to work as a clerk at the post office. She would tell me stories all the time about the postal inspectors coming in and investigating packages.. and on several occasions they would come in and just put an employee in cuffs and take them away (because they would later reveal the person was stealing).

I'd definately report it to them

Amandaevewasframed on July 6th, 2005 02:26 am (UTC)
I'd have someone send another "gift" and I'd leave a note in there that said "I know you're stealing my mail, Asshole! If one more thing goes missing I'll be reporting you to the police!"

I'd throw some dog poo in there for good measure too.
washburnbear on July 6th, 2005 03:01 am (UTC)
I'd be careful of the dog poo. It may be considered a health hazard as untreated sewage, and I think there are regulations against sending hazardous materials. While I love the sentiment, I wouldn't want the OP to get in trouble (or the friend/family member who sent the "gift").
Amandaevewasframed on July 6th, 2005 03:03 am (UTC)
I was totally kidding.
washburnbear on July 6th, 2005 03:06 am (UTC)
Oh. Sorry I misinterpreted. But I do love the sentiment.
Amandaevewasframed on July 6th, 2005 03:09 am (UTC)
Don't be sorry! :)
(Deleted comment)
Principiaprincipia on July 6th, 2005 02:48 am (UTC)
You're talking a federal offense, so I would imagine you could get him in rather a large amount of trouble rather easily. Whether this gets reported to the police or the Postmaster I'm not sure, though.
lisa: bookishlisabella on July 6th, 2005 03:25 am (UTC)
lisa: littlegirlicklisabella on July 6th, 2005 03:27 am (UTC)
I'm going to echo what most people said.

Call the police and contact the post office.

I had my mail stolen last year, all bills, and the checks were washed and then used around town. Luckily I realized this happened and stopped payment. Which caused me even more trouble but at least over $800 of my money wasn't stolen as well.

It sounds like your neighbor is stealing incoming mail so hopefully that won't happen to you but if you get pre-approved credit cards you really want to check on your credit report.

I'm very angry at your neighbor! And I hope that he is stopped.
the Pdot: Moi.bjorker on July 6th, 2005 05:36 am (UTC)
I know you had a million people say it by now, but I'm about to make it a million-and-one because it's just that important.

That's SOOOOO not acceptable. To the point of, likely they will search his house and hopefully get your stuff back to you. To the point of jail time.

AND. Your landlord fully deserves to be turned in for not calling the police himself (or doing anything in general).
AND. Is this an appartment complex, or something similar? Just the idea that you didn't have a lock box already in this sort of situation is strange. The landlord NEEDS to put those in. Some way or another, somebody in power is going to need to tell him that, because that's really unacceptable...

But if you haven't already: POLICE. NOW.

Good luck.
vckvck on July 6th, 2005 05:41 am (UTC)
missing mail
It may not be a case of theft. The postman may be leaving your mail in the wrong box. I get mail for my neighbors all the time. They get my mail in their boxes too. We get along well enough that we just take the correct mail to the correct address.

Do you know your neighbor at all? If you've been on speaking terms with him in the past try the polite "The mail man must have done it," approach first. Casually mention to your neighbor that you haven't been getting all your mail lately. That you think the mail man may be putting it in the wrong box by accident, and if they happen to get any of your mail in their box would they please put it in yours.

That way your neighbor doesn't have to be on the defensive. You haven't actually accused him of anything.

In fact if you mention it to several neighbors then if others are having the same problem there may be more complaints and the landlord will have to be concerned. Plus everyone will be watching to see if they can catch the culprit in the act. The neighborhood watch thing can work.
Lizbetladylizbet on July 6th, 2005 08:07 am (UTC)
I would send yourself a package, and put a note in it saying, "Hi. I know you're stealing my mail. In accordance with advide I received from the Post office and Police, this package has been coated with a dye which can be traced on your skin for several weeks. If any postal theft continues, I will gladly give them the go ahead to press charges against you for this felony."

That should put the shits up him! LOL! And go to the police if it doesn't stop.

Kristinefezabel on July 6th, 2005 01:17 pm (UTC)
Call the USPS main number (800-ASK-USPS) and your local post office. Let them know this is happening. It is a federal offense and they can be prosecuted. In the meantime, you might ask about having your local post office hold your mail so you can pick it up there.
Official Last Call Flip Cup Championbkmichele on July 6th, 2005 03:48 pm (UTC)
Just to reiterate a few points other people have made
1. It's a felony to steal mail and I believe a federal one. As in, not your local popo's but the FBI will come for him. Start with the post office in your area to report him.
2. I'm guessing you don't have any sort of secure mail box. Hit up your local hardware store or Home Depot and they'll probably have one that will lock and have just a small opening for the mailman to slip your letters and DVD's in. Netflix comes in those tiny envelopes, right?

I'd hate to see you forced to get a PO Box. They're terribly inconvenient.
anamomdaanamomda on July 6th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC)
Seems you have all the advice you need.
Please keep us updated.
I would love to hear how this all shakes out!
Jess: Mary-Kate wants you to fuck off please.thejoysofjess on July 6th, 2005 05:22 pm (UTC)
Federal offense, call the police.