Friday, July 19, 2024

Vandalism hits Post Falls USPS drop boxes, raising fraud concerns

Staff Writer | July 10, 2024 1:06 AM

POST FALLS — The blue drop box outside the Post Falls Post Office has been missing for over a month following a string of vandalism incidents targeting United States Postal Service collection sites in the region.

On May 21, post office boxes in Hayden, Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls, Rathdrum and Spokane Valley were broken into, according to the USPS and Post Falls Police Department. The Post Falls drop box was pried open.

While a new collection box has been ordered, the front of the Greensferry Road site remains empty except for a notice about the vandalism. The United States Postal Inspection Service is seeking help to identify potential fraudulent claims.

The USPS is concerned that people may have stolen mail deposited after the final collection May 21 at 5 p.m. and before the damage was reported May 22 at 8 a.m. This stolen information could be used to open fraudulent financial accounts.

Boxes at all of the locations were removed and currently there is no timeframe on when new boxes will be installed.

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office believes some of the seized checks were cashed out of state, the Press previously reported.

Residents who used the affected mailboxes during this period should monitor their financial accounts for suspicious activity.

In March, the Postal Inspection Service reported 73% more arrests for letter carrier robberies over the same time period last year. 

Since May 2023, the Postal Inspection Service conducted more than 1,200 arrests for letter carrier robberies and mail theft across the country.

The Post Falls, Hayden, and Rathdrum locations have a collection box/slot inside the lobby for customers to use accessible for customers with disabilities and mobility issues. 

The Coeur D’Alene carrier annex location is not open to the public, but customers can visit the downtown Coeur D’Alene Post Office less than five miles away to drop off mail. 

For questions about the incident, call 877-876-2455.

An update with additional information from USPS was added to the story.

    Vandalism to the Post Falls post office collection box occurred after 5 p.m. May 21 and 8 a.m. May 22.