'Very scared' residents in Cypress' Fairfield neighborhood plagued by consistent mailbox thefts

Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Cypress neighbors 'scared' as community mailbox keeps getting raided
Fairfield is deemed a prestigious master-planned community in Cypress, but some neighbors say they've become "very scared" as their mail, including private tax documents and information, continues to get stolen straight from the community mailbox.

CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- Some residents living in the Fairfield subdivision in Cypress said their mail had been stolen at least a dozen times from their community mailbox. They said the most recent theft happened Monday night.

"I'm very scared because our tax information was in this last theft," Richard Wingerin said.

Precinct 4 constable's deputies are now searching for a possible suspect they say could be responsible for stealing mail in the area and have released the following photo.

In a report published by the Office of the Inspector General, the agency explains that thieves will often times target mail carriers in order to steal an arrow key, commonly known as a master key.

Residents who live in this subdivision believe someone got a hold of one. The master key can be used in a small area on all postal service mailboxes.

"Being a person that has had their identity stolen before, it's frustrating," Steve Zettlemoyer said.

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Zettlemoyer and Wingerin said they've both tried to reach out to the postal service for help with little avail.

When ABC13's crews arrived at the subdivision, the mailbox was wide open and appeared to be broken.

ABC13 reached out to the United States Postal Service (USPS) to ask about the security of these mailboxes.

The USPS directed our questions to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the investigating branch of the postal service.

Eyewitness News asked what security measures were in place to ensure mail wasn't stolen from these boxes.

The agency said the security measures aren't being released for security reasons.

Zettlemoyer and Wingerin believe there should be more security, including changing the locks.

The USPIS stated that some locks are being changed to electronic locks but did not disclose where or when this is happening.

The USPIS deferred Eyewitness News' question as to whether the locks will be changed back to USPS, which has yet to respond.

"If a customer has video images, a mail theft complaint, or any information regarding criminal activity involving the mail, they should report it directly to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by calling our hotline at 877-876-2455 or online at www.USPIS.gov. If they only report it to their local police or post office, the information may not be received by postal inspectors," a USPIS spokesperson said.

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