Thieves Keep Using Postal Master Keys To Steal Mail: How Are They Getting A Hold Of Those Keys?

CHICAGO (CBS) — Thieves have been using master keys to steal mail and police have been tracking them for months – yet it’s still happening.

But how are the thieves getting a hold of the master keys? A former post office manager told CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov Tuesday why the system to track them does not always work.

“You have to sign in for those keys, and the clerk clears you at the end of the day when you return,” said the former supervisor.

That is the way it is supposed to work inside the United States Post Office. The former supervisor, who did not want to be identified, said carriers get assigned several sensitive items before they start their routes.

One is a master key – also called an arrow key – that opens all locked mailboxes, like the ones inside multi-unit buildings. They are supposed to be logged and returned at the end of a carrier’s shift.

“You had to be checked,” the former supervisor said. “You could not leave unless we checked everything.”

But as we have been reporting, thieves have been using those keys to access mailboxes and steal mail. Most recently, two suspects were caught on security camera accessing and rifling through mail in a condo building in the Clybourn Corridor area.


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In latest cost cutting news I have not seen a closing clerk clear me in 15 years. The only thing checked is the scanner record to make sure bar codes were scanned. Nobody would know what to do if I brought back postage due, C.O.D. or Customs money. The “arrow key” itself is an obsolete lock. Postal Inspectors have told us that with a picture people can 3D print their own. Some districts are able to replace all their locks when a key goes missing. For 5 years now we have been trying to replace the arrow locks with a… Read more »

When your working 2-3 hours off the clock every day, gotta make extra money somehow.…