Queens Legislator Asks USPS to Combat Mail Theft and Improve Green Mailbox Security – QNS.com
Congresswoman Grace Meng is calling on the United States Postal Service (USPS) to immediately address mail theft from Queens postal relay boxes, which are the dark green boxes next to many blue collection boxes.
Meng sent a letter to USPS District Director Frank Calabrese, who oversees postal operations in Queens and Long Island, after receiving complaints from constituents in his district who were hit by a wave of thefts from mail.
Relay boxes, unlike standard blue mailboxes, do not have a slot and require a key to open, according to Meng. These boxes can store thousands of letters at a time and are vulnerable to break-ins.
Receiving complaints that thieves enter the green @USPS relay boxes in my neighborhood and steal the mail that is stored inside. I am in contact with postal authorities regarding the issue and working to resolve the situation quickly. #queens pic.twitter.com/jbul05Wy3r
– Grace Meng (@RepGraceMeng) June 2, 2022
“Issues regarding mail security have been an ongoing and persistent issue in Queens for the past few years, and mail theft from relay boxes is the latest issue,” Meng said. “Mail is one of the oldest and most trusted forms of communication across our country, and that trust is eroded when voters don’t receive or can’t send their mail securely. We must do more to protect our residents from identity theft, theft of important documents or the withdrawal of money from bank accounts. I know that the improvements needed to secure these relay boxes are within reach of the Post Office. Now all that remains is to set up the required security.
In her letter to Calabrese, Meng said she was encouraged by the USPS’ recent coordination with the NYPD to arrest six people charged with mail theft and fraud in Queens.
“I hope that partnerships with law enforcement and other relevant agencies will continue, as they are essential to keeping our communities safe. I also urge the USPS to consider new initiatives to improve the security of relay boxes to reduce their vulnerability to theft,” Meng wrote in the letter. “I have full confidence in the ability of the USPS to make the necessary security upgrades, as they have with the blue mailboxes in my district – an effective initiative that I encouraged.”
Several years ago, the USPS retrofitted blue collection boxes in Queens with mail slots after Meng urged the agency to do so.
The MP made the request in 2018 to address the borough’s mail fishing problem, which involves placing string connected to sticky material in collection boxes and “fishing” envelopes. Narrower slots make it harder for thieves to steal the mail inside.