Editorial: USPS and Bronx DA Need to Squash Mailbox Fishers

For the past two years, the commanding officer of the 52nd Precinct has sounded the alarm on so-called “fishing” scams where thieves feed adhesive and glue into a mailbox on the hopes of hoisting, or fishing, out mail containing money orders and checks.

But the crime has not only bedeviled the precinct, but the entire Bronx. Indeed, this crime of opportunity remains even in the face of consistent arrests made on the scam. It’s also time to call out the United States Postal Service for allowing this crime to continue.

The United States Postal Service, which cries over loss of revenue, is doing a poor job in not resolving the issue despite their meetings with commanding officers from each Bronx precinct. The federal agency does have an enforcement unit to handle these types of fraud cases, yet the effort has been somewhat passive. Where’s the public relations campaign to stymie this? Where’s the outreach aside from interactions with police? The USPS has taken preventive steps in fixing the issue by installing new mailboxes, but not much of a mention was made.

And while the United States Postal Service is largely to blame for allowing this crime of opportunity to spiral out of control, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, headed by Darcel Clark, have done little to help the situation. In most instances, the perps plea down the case to a simple slap on the wrist even as they continue to do it again. The Norwood News has determined that officers are frustrated over Clark’s handling of a quality of life grievance that has not gone away. They too seem to have contributed to a state where mailbox fishing is low priority. Tell that to the 69-year-old whose rent checks were stolen, and the son or daughter waiting to get a monetary present that never came.

It’s time the public puts pressure on the United States Postal Service to ask for better enforcement efforts. At this point, it seems the police are taking the lead regarding a federal offense.

In the meantime, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act, the Norwood News obtained a list of locations within the 10467 and 10458 zip code of secure mailboxes to ease anxieties. The locations of mailboxes containing the new slit covers within the zip codes of 10467 and 10458 include:

2280 Olinville Ave.
2550 Olinville Ave.
3501 Barnes Ave.
2300 Barnes Ave.
798 Burke Ave.
735 Mace Ave.
3000 Bronx Park East
2540 Barker Ave.
2815 White Plains Rd.
711 E. Gun Hill Rd.
650 Adee Ave.
2300 Boston Rd.
650 Thwaites Pl.
2400 Barker Ave.
2933 Barnes Ave.
298 E. 204th St.
398 E. 206th St.
298 E. 206th St.
3698 White Plains Rd.
698 E. 219th St.
700 E. 222nd St.
300 E. Gun Hill Rd.
159 E. Gun Hill Rd.
3700 Jerome Ave.
701 Pelham Pkwy. N.
3102 Decatur Ave.
299 E. 207th St.
698 E. 219th St.
3500 Jerome Ave.
3499 White Plains Rd.
3464 Jerome Ave.
652 E. 187th St.
2426 Grand Concourse
200 E. 196th St./Grand Concourse
240 E. 204th St.

Also, consider barraging the US Postal Service with mailbox fishing complaints. Call (800) ASK-USPS(275-8777) to make a complaint. For emergency situations, such as mail theft or identity theft, call (800) 275-8777.

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One thought on “Editorial: USPS and Bronx DA Need to Squash Mailbox Fishers

  1. Katie

    A few years ago I retired from the USPS. While on the job, as a Postmaster, I had never heard of this “Mailbox fishing”. I think the public would be quite surprised to know some of the items that I personally found in collection boxes when I emptied them at night for dispatch. I can only hope these fishers catch a filthy diaper on the line, or used contraceptive materials made of latex, unsanitary sanitary items. Oh the list goes on. I don’t doubt what the article said about the USPS being less than expeditious in addressing this issue, but they will. When they do, keep in mind the Postal Inspectors have a 96% of convicting whatever Postal Offence they are prosecuting.

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