USPS Is Cracking Down on Mail Theft — And Offering Up To $250,000 For Help Monetary rewards range from $100,000 to $250,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
- Mail theft is on the rise, with over 25,000 instances reported in the first six months of the year.
- USPS is taking action to combat mail theft by replacing thousands of universal keys and introducing over 10,000 high-security blue mailboxes in high-risk locations.
- Information related to mail theft, violence against mail carriers, tampering with meters might be eligible for a reward.
Mail theft is on the rise, and the U.S. Postal Service has had enough.
On Wednesday, USPS announced that it's ramping up efforts to combat theft and is offering thousands of dollars for help from civilians.
For information about instances of thievery or violence against a mail carrier, USPS is offering monetary rewards from $100,000 up to $250,000, depending on the crime — and given that the information leads to an arrest and conviction.
Information about instances of tampering with meters or postages, stealing mail or property under USPS custody, and burglary of a post office, will yield rewards of $100,000, while information about USPS robberies and assault on a mail carrier or contractor can earn $150,000, and information about murder or manslaughter of a mail carrier or contractor may see rewards of $250,000.
USPS is also combatting instances of theft and criminals who target mail carriers to steal "arrow keys" or "universal keys" to gain access to mailboxes. USPS officials reported that 6,500 of these keys have already been replaced with electronic locks in select cities, with plans to deploy another 42,500.
USPS is also introducing more than 10,000 high-security blue mailboxes in "high-security risk areas" and working on strengthening the authentication processes for change of address submissions.
"We will continue to turn up the pressure and put potential perpetrators on notice: If you're attacking postal employees, if you steal the mail or commit other postal crimes, postal inspectors will bring you to justice," said Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale in a statement. "We ask that the public assist us with our mission. Our rewards for information have increased substantially."
In May, USPS reported over 25,000 instances of mail theft in the first six months of the year, signaling that thievery is on the rise as compared to the total 38,500 instances of theft reported for all of 2022, Reuters reported.
Since then, law enforcement has made 639 arrests for robberies and mail theft, USPS said.
"As our nation continues to address a sustained crime wave, our targeted focus to crack down on postal crime is progressing," said Postmaster General and USPS CEO Louis DeJoy in a statement. "The safety of our letter carriers — and all postal employees — is our top priority."