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USPS And USPIS Continue Nationwide Campaign to Combat Postal Crime and Protect Postal Employees

March 12, 2024

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Arrests for Robbery of Letter Carriers Up 73% Year Over Year

High-Security Blue Collection Boxes, Enhanced Security Mechanisms Now in All 50 States

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S Postal Service (USPS) and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) announced an update on Project Safe Delivery, a joint initiative to protect postal employees and secure the nation’s mail and packages. The initiative was launched in May 2023 in direct response to rising crime across the nation that has led to increased threats and attacks on letter carriers and mail theft incidents.

In February, USPIS completed a second law enforcement surge in San Francisco as a part of this nationwide effort by USPIS and USPS to protect both postal employees and the integrity of the postal system. Since the launch of Project Safe Delivery, Inspection Service personnel have conducted more than 5,500 mail theft, and violent crime prevention activities nationwide.

“We have been unrelenting in our pursuit of criminals who target postal employees and the U.S. Mail. The efforts of our postal inspectors and law enforcement partners have yielded positive results,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy. “We are not done. Ensuring the well-being of our letter carriers and all postal employees remains of the utmost importance. We will continue to make major investments to secure the postal network while directing the full weight of our law enforcement resources to protecting our employees and the mail.”

Postmaster General DeJoy also called for increased prosecution and strong sentences for individuals who perpetrate postal crimes, including letter carrier robberies, mail theft, and associated financial crimes saying, “Our nation’s letter carriers deserve to go to work without fear of harm from a robbery or attack. Letter carriers are hardworking, federal civil servants who deliver an essential service to communities across America. An attack on a letter carrier, or any postal employee, is also an attack on the very community they serve. Individuals who attack postal employees should be vigorously prosecuted and, if convicted, should receive penalties from the courts that reflect the seriousness of their crimes. The courts must take postal crimes seriously, and the criminals who perpetrate them must be held fully accountable under the law.”

“The results of physical security investments and enforcement efforts announced today demonstrate our continued progress with the Project Safe Delivery initiative,” said Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale. “This includes the results of our targeted law enforcement operations in San Francisco, Chicago, and a number of locations in Ohio. These operations have advanced our investigations, secured postal assets, and raised awareness among postal employees about steps they can take to protect their safety.”

Arrests Associated with Letter Carrier Robberies Up 73%

For the 2024 Fiscal Year so far, the Postal Inspection Service has made 73% more arrests for letter carrier robberies over the same time period in the prior fiscal year. This increase is the direct result of the efforts made by the Postal Inspection Service and federal and local law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who rob our letter carriers and steal mail. Since May 2023, the Postal Inspection Service has made over 1,200 arrests for letter carrier robberies and mail theft nationwide.

Over the last five months, reported robberies of letter carriers have decreased by 19% and complaints received for mail theft are down 34%.

Law Enforcement Surge Operations

USPIS is working diligently to enforce the laws that protect USPS and the U.S. Mail. As part of these efforts, the Inspection Service is conducting targeted law enforcement surges across the country including in Chicago, San Francisco, and cities across Ohio. Additional surges are planned for 2024 in other cities across the United States.

Each surge leverages wide-ranging law enforcement partnerships, including with the Department of Justice, Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, other federal agencies, and local law enforcement. Initial surges have resulted in more than 20 arrests, more than 950 investigative actions, including the execution of arrest warrants, search warrants, and other court authorized law enforcement activities, and more than 400 prevention activities, including presentations to postal employees on employee safety and mail theft prevention.

High-Security Blue Collection Boxes and Electronic Lock Mechanisms Deployed to All 50 States

Since the launch of Project Safe Delivery, USPS, in partnership with USPIS, has made significant investments in the physical security of its mail receptacles and is hardening blue collection boxes, making access to their contents more difficult for criminals in all 50 states. Since May 2023, tens of thousands of hardened blue boxes and electronic locking mechanisms have been and will be strategically deployed in high postal crime areas. This includes 15,000 hardened blue boxes, with another 8,500 ordered to be installed, and 28,000 electronic locking mechanisms installed in mail receptacles.

USPS, in partnership with USPIS, will continue to make significant, strategic physical security investments to USPS’s delivery network. These investments will help to modernize USPS’s infrastructure and ensure that the public can safely and securely send and receive mail.

Action the American Public Can Take to Help Prevent Mail Theft 

Customers can take several steps to protect their mail and their letter carriers, including:

  • Don’t let incoming or outgoing mail sit in your mailbox. You can significantly reduce the chance of being victimized by simply removing your mail from your mailbox every day.
  • Deposit outgoing mail at secure locations, including inside your local Post Office or at your place of business, or hand it directly to a letter carrier.
  • Sign up for Informed Delivery and get daily digest emails that preview your mail and packages scheduled to arrive soon.
  • Become involved and engaged in your neighborhood via neighborhood watches and local social media groups to spread awareness and share information.
  • Keep an eye out for your letter carrier. If you see something that looks suspicious, or you see someone following your carrier, call 911.

Customers are encouraged to report stolen mail as soon as possible by submitting an online complaint to the Postal Inspection Service at www.uspis.gov/report or calling 877-876-2455.  Additionally, individuals are encouraged to report allegations of Postal Service employee misconduct, including attempts to corrupt a Postal Service employee, to the USPS OIG at 1-888-877-7644 or www.uspsoig.gov

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