UPDATE: Two Mid County collection boxes damaged; U.S. postal inspector following up

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, June 22, 2022

U.S. Postal Inspectors are looking into the issue of damaged collection boxes at Mid County post offices.

At least one area — Nederland — had a police report filed regarding damages.

Social media posts in Mid County showed photos of the Nederland mailbox covered with plastic wrap so as not to be used.

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Police Chief Gary Porter said it appears someone tried to pry open the box between June 15 and June 16. The postal service reported the issue, he said.

The crime could be anywhere from criminal mischief to theft to federal charges.

Silvia Torres, U.S. postal inspector/public information officer, said postal inspectors were not previously aware of reports of recent damage to the collection boxes outside the Nederland Post Office and surrounding areas. Postal inspectors are now looking further into the matter.

“If the collection boxes were damaged, they will be wrapped to keep customers from depositing mail in them,” Torres said. “USPS is working diligently to replace the damaged boxes as soon as possible. In the meantime, customers can deposit their outgoing mail inside the post office lobby.

While Internet rumors claimed Port Neches’ and Groves’ drop boxes were impacted, there were no police reports made in those cities.

Port Neches Police Chief Paul Lemoine said they did not receive a police report as of Tuesday but confirmed someone had damaged the collection box.

The box in Port Neches also has plastic wrap to keep people from depositing mail.

Groves City Marshal Norman Reynolds Jr. as of Monday was not aware of any damage at the Groves post office.

Torres said it is unclear at this time what mail, if any, was taken.

She said to determine the scope of the issue, postal inspectors must rely on the reports of potential mail theft victims to identify any items taken following a collection box vandalism. If a customer discovers any issues with outgoing mail placed in collection boxes in this area, they are urged to report it to postal inspectors by calling 877-876-2455 or by visiting www.uspis.gov/report.