Vancouver community mailboxes broken, no mail for seven weeks
VANCOUVER, Wash. —
Mailboxes in one Vancouver community have been broken for weeks and residents haven’t been able to get mail at home. Now they are wondering what is taking the United States Postal Service so long to repair them.
Wendy Stephens lives in the Hidden Brook community. She says someone broke into three of the four mailboxes in her community two days before Christmas.
“We don't know, but it looks like someone just took a crowbar and just popped it open,” Stephens said.
For nearly seven weeks they have not been fixed. That’s 40 residents total. Stephens and her husband have to drive to the closest post office more than four miles away just to get their mail.
“Stand in line in a small, little 10x10 room. Stand in line a good 45-50 minutes to get the mail,” said Stephens.
While standing in line, she says she has met others in Vancouver with the same problem in different communities.
“One gentleman that we spoke to has been waiting three months; he's been going to the post office once a week for three months to get his mail because it hasn't been fixed,” Stephens said.
While she is worried about identity theft, her biggest question: why haven’t their mailboxes been fixed? She says the representatives at the post office have not been able to help, and her calls to the postmaster in Vancouver have never been answered.
“I think that seven weeks and not getting any type of feedback or response from the post office as to how much longer? Are you working on it? Are you doing anything? This looks the same as it did seven weeks ago,” Stephens said pointing to her mailbox.
KATU reached out to USPS Tuesday. Spokesperson John Friess said the postal service is aware of the situation and they are investigating.
“We apologize for the customers' inconvenience; however, the amount of damage requires replacing the mailbox with a newer, more tamper-resistant unit which will be completed soon,” Friess said.
USPS recommends customers take mail out of their mailboxes overnight, and ask them to hold their mail if they are going out of town.
Tampering with mail or a mailbox can come with a $250,000 fine or prison time.
Customers are advised to direct any service or delivery concerns to 1-800-ASK-USPS.