Since 2019, my office has received more than 100 complaints of stolen and lost mail, mailbox break-ins, and washed checks in post offices in our district.— Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (@RepFletcher) June 8, 2021
I sent a letter calling on the Postmaster Inspector General to investigate. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/C2RjLkOFLP
Fletcher, who represents Texas' 7th Congressional District, sent a letter to the Postmaster Inspector General on Tuesday requesting an investigation into issues occurring at several post offices.
Her district starts on Houston's west side, covering West University Place, Bellaire and River Oaks. It also includes a thin stretch bounded by I-10 and Westheimer Road, Cypress and Jersey Village.
"Since May 2019, constituents have contacted my office with reports of stolen and lost mail, mailboxes that have been broken into or need repairs to be functional, and washed checks," wrote Fletcher in the letter. "Many of my constituents rely on the USPS for life-saving medications, stimulus checks, tax refunds, and correspondence with loved ones in this challenging and isolating time ... Houstonians cannot wait for meaningful changes at the North Houston P&DC nor should they have to continue without remedy as mail is stolen and accessible services are removed."
This comes after an April audit of the North Houston Processing and Distribution Center revealed that the center had the highest overall delayed mail volume in the country.
In her letter, Congresswoman Fletcher called for the Inspector General to do the following:
- Investigate how a copy of the master key to the Terraces on Memorial cluster mailbox (local Post Office: Ashford West) was made so that the new master key will not be replicated and mail will not be stolen in the future
- Investigate why mail continues to be lost at Ashford West, resulting in washed and stolen checks among other problems.
- Investigate why mail continues to be lost at the Julius Melcher Station, resulting in washed and stolen checks among other problems.
- Explain why the drive-up box and self-service kiosk at Westbury no longer work or have been removed, and detail possible remedies that maintain coronavirus safety protocols and access for the differently abled.
- Ensure that the North Houston P&DC processes mail on its normal incoming sort plan in the future so that accurate numbers of delayed mail can be calculated, and problems can be identified in a timely manner.
- Plan a follow-up audit to ensure that their recent findings and these requests have been thoroughly addressed within two years.
In February, ABC13's Mycah Hatfield reported the USPS received reports of theft from the Southmore, University, Julius Melcher and Weslayan post offices along with Galveston-area collection boxes. Many of the collection boxes at the time were either taped over with notes telling customers to bring their mail inside. In the case of the University Station mailbox, it was been removed altogether.
In many instances, the theft is resulting in check washing.
READ MORE: Houston-area mailboxes shut down after checks get stolen
Fletcher is encouraging her constituents who may be facing these issues to contact her office, located at 5599 San Felipe St Suite 950, at (713) 353-8680.
You can also use her online contact form featured on her website.