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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mailbox vandals plague Bloomfield

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bloomfield, Ind. -- Postal customers in the rural Bloomfield area have recently been having a lot of problems with mailbox vandalism, according to Bloomfield Postmaster Mindy Pemberton.

Here are some facts and reminders about the problems of mailbox vandalism, the penalties for violators and some tips for preventing vandalism, all from the United States Postal Service:

Rural area mailboxes are vulnerable to vandalism because they are usually isolated, located on public thoroughfares, and frequently not visible to the box owners from their homes. City residential mailboxes are vandalized to a lesser degree.

Mailboxes are considered federal property, and federal law (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1705), makes it a crime to vandalize them (or to injure, deface or destroy any mail deposited in them). Violators can be fined up to $250,000, or imprisoned for up to three years, for each act of vandalism.

Postal Inspectors recommend these actions to protect your mailbox and any mail that may be inside it:

* Immediately report theft, tampering or destruction of mail or mailboxes to your postmaster. You'll be asked to complete PS Form 1510, Mail Loss and Rifling Report, or PS Form 2016, Mail Theft and Vandalism Complaint. The forms help the Postal Inspection Service determine whether your problem is isolated, or one frequently experienced in your neighborhood.

* Obtain Label 33 from the Postal Inspection Service and affix it to your mailbox. The sticker warns that willful damage to mailboxes and theft of mail are crimes.

* Keep your mailbox in good repair, and make sure it's properly installed. This may help prevent theft of the mailbox itself.

If you have information on mailbox vandalism, call the Postal Inspection Service to report it. Your cooperation helps apprehend violators. You may provide your information or complaints to your local Postmaster who will pass this information on to your local U.S. Postal Inspector. To submit a complaint directly to the Postal Inspection Service click on http://ehome.uspis.gov/mailtheft/vandali...

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I live inside the town of Jasonville and was having all of my mail stolen from the curbside box. I called the local post office and was told I had to go to the US Postal Inspector's website to report the loss of mail - they have no forms on hand for you to fill out.

Form PS 2016 is nine pages long and asks one ridiculous question, "What was the value of the mail stolen?" How in the world would I know since I never had the opportunity to see it.

Also you're required to make a formal complaint to your local police department and obtain a report number. That number must accompany PS 2016.

Label 33 is indeed available but only as a PDF download for you to print.

My ultimate solution was to purchase a high-security locking mailbox made of heavy gauge steel. The box alone weighs almost 50 pounds.

I don't know if my local Postmaster passed along any information to the USPIS but I highly doubt it.

-- Posted by DominicReynolds on Mon, Jul 28, 2014, at 3:35 AM

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