USPS replacing thousands of locks, collection boxes after Channel 2 investigations on mail thefts

ATLANTA — A series of Channel 2 Action News investigations over the past year have focused on the fast rising number of mail thefts. Now, postal leaders are announcing new measures to prevent it.

Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray has been tracking the growing crime and how it leads directly to check and bank fraud.

The arrows master key to many postal mailboxes have become a target for thieves robbing mail carriers, then a tool to steal mail.

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Just last week, two women were arrested in Cobb County for allegedly using an arrow key to access mailboxes. The United States Postal Service is now replacing 49,000 arrow keys with electronic locks.

“We are hardening targets – both physical and digital – to make them less desirable to thieves,” the postal inspection service chief told Gray.

In a Channel 2 Action News investigation last November, we told you how more than 200 postal carriers have been attacked just here in metro Atlanta since 2019.

In a September investigation, we told you how the mail thefts affect you. Checks can end up for sale on the dark web. That’s where we found DeKalb County resident Gloria Daniels’ stolen mail.

“Yep there’s my check.”


The blue USPS boxes are immediately recognizable and have also become increasingly a target for thieves with arrow keys. There were 38,5000 high-volume mail thefts in 2022 and already 25,000 of those so far this year.

Now, postal leaders say they are replacing 12,000 of them with hardened high security boxes.

“I mean, this is definitely a step in the right direction,” said Frank Albergo, president of the Postal Police Officers Association.

Starting in 2020, the postal service took its staff of 700 police officers off patrol, limiting them to work inside postal facilities

“I mean, they have a police force, they should use it. It would it would be great to roll out this new technology in conjunction with putting postal police back on the street,” Albergo said

Postal leaders told Gray they have already started rolling out the new blue boxes and ne electronic locks in some locations and will continue to add more over the course of the fiscal year.

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