Residents fear mail issues will get worse if USPS doesn't act now

Mycah Hatfield Image
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Residents fear mail issues will get worse if USPS doesn't act now
Have you recently had to wait weeks to get a package? You're not the only one. Now, a Houston congresswoman is hoping to put an end to rising mail issues.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- More than 100 people have reached out to U.S. Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher's office regarding issues they are facing with their mail.

That information was included in a letter she sent to the Postmaster Inspector General requesting an investigation into three area post offices.

"We've heard of stolen passports, social security cards, prescriptions, the check washing," said Fletcher. "I have heard multiple post offices and that's a huge concern."

READ MORE: Rep. Lizzie Fletcher calling on USPS to investigate mail theft, other issues in her district

Since 2019, her office has gotten more than 100 complaints of stolen and lost mail, mailbox break-ins, and washed checks in post offices.

Dr. Alesha Russey said she received a notification in January saying a package was delivered to her apartment. When she went to pick it up, she could not find it. Six months later, she still does not have the package.

"I honestly believe it was an internal Postal Service infraction," Russey said.

She has spoken to her apartment management and the Julius Melcher Post Office near W Alabama Street.

A spokesperson for USPS told ABC13 on Wednesday that if Russey believes it is an internal issue, they cannot provide any information.

"The items were from my mother," Russey said. "They can't be replaced. Irreplaceable. I had jewelry in there and most importantly, some of my items from Jackson State University were in there. My season tickets."

She has since reached out to Fletcher's office for help. Meanwhile, in west Houston, Nick Kornuta, the HOA president for Terraces on Memorial, said he also reached out to the congresswoman.

"It was three rounds of problems about six or eight days apart over two or three weeks," Kornuta said.

Someone got a hold of the master key to the community mailboxes and got inside all 18 boxes throughout the neighborhood.

"The mailboxes were open," Kornuta said. "Mail was in the wrong place, some was on the ground. The doors were open."

Both Kornuta and Russey are hopeful that Congresswoman Fletcher's request for an investigation will prove fruitful.

Fletcher has asked USPS to look into the USPS Post Office Ashford West, Westbury and Julius Melcher station.

In that letter, she referenced an ABC13 report that aired in February citing concerns about vandalized mailboxes at the post offices in southwest Houston.

READ MORE: Houston-area mailboxes shut down after checks get stolen

In many instances, the theft is resulting in check washing. Police say in one case, $80,000 was taken out of the victim's account.

"According to a local ABC-affiliate investigation, theft from drive-up boxes is also on the rise throughout my district," she said. "Three local solutions have been to remove drive-up boxes entirely or close them until further notice, prompting customers to walk into the post office buildings to drop off their mail."

A spokesperson for the Office of the Inspector General issued the following statement.

"We have received the Congresswoman's request and are reviewing it for possible next steps."

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.

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