Seattle residents in the 98118 zip code faced a shocking inconvenience as the United States Postal Service (USPS) suspended mail delivery due to a surge in thefts. Over 900 residents in parts of south Seattle were left without mail as the USPS paused delivery, citing concerns over equipment security.
According to Postal Service spokesperson Kim Frum, the delivery pause was a result of thieves getting their hands on a master key used by postal workers to access cluster mailboxes in apartment buildings across the city. The USPS made improvements to the affected equipment and eventually resumed mail delivery.
While some lucky residents received prior notice of the delivery pause through their apartment buildings, others had to rely on social media or word-of-mouth to learn about the issue. Those affected were left with no choice but to make a trip to the post office to pick up their mail, leading to frustratingly long wait times. The cherry on top? The post office closed at 5:00 p.m., leaving some residents turned away without their mail.
One resident, Juana Esquibel, made multiple attempts to retrieve her mail, even adjusting her work schedule to do so. Nancy Truittpierce shared her disappointment as the post office staff couldn’t provide a date for when regular delivery services would resume. Instead, they suggested renting a post office box, which Truittpierce found to be an unhelpful and ridiculous solution, especially for those who couldn’t afford it.
The USPS revealed that mail carrier robberies have skyrocketed, with a 50% increase compared to last year. Over the past decade, robberies have quadrupled, particularly targeting Arrow and Modified Arrow Lock (MAL) Keys. In response, the USPS is in the process of replacing 49,000 arrow lock keys with electronic versions to deter criminals from targeting mail carriers.
It’s a sad state of affairs when thieves can bring an entire neighborhood’s mail delivery to a halt. Seattle residents are left frustrated and inconvenienced, with no clear end in sight to this ongoing issue. Let’s hope the USPS can find a more effective solution and bring peace of mind back to the affected communities.