Eleanor Holmes Norton
**FILE** D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (Courtesy photo)

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton released a letter on Monday she received from the United States Postal Service (USPS) in response to her own letter last month regarding the increase in mail theft in the District, especially of checks, through the use of stolen universal keys.

The response, written by James Cari, the agency’s government relations representative, agreed there has been an increase in mail theft in the Washington area. As a result, postal officials have made security modifications and infrastructure upgrades at its facilities to prevent mail theft and prioritize probes into stolen checks, according to Cari.

Cari said the Postal Inspection Service promoted mail theft prevention tips on its social media platforms, its website (www.uspis.gov), and through community outreach.

Since 2017, postal inspectors in the Washington area have conducted more than 900 presentations to postal customers and local law enforcement related to mail theft/check washing prevention.

Cari blamed mail theft trends on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which produced growth in parcel volume and the mailing of economic impact and unemployment payments. He said postal staffers control the use of keys that access mailboxes.

“I am pleased USPS responded promptly to my letter on the increase in mail theft and is implementing new security measures to reduce such theft,” Norton said. “When I sent the letter, my office had recently been contacted by a constituent whose checks had been stolen from a blue collection box. I will be watching closely to ensure that USPS continues implementing its enhanced security measures and that these steps reduce mail theft.”

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