Dayton area mail thefts: Sen. Brown urges next step in fighting thefts

Postmaster general did not respond to Democratic senator’s letter last month

With no response from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to a letter he sent a month ago, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is urging the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Board of Governors to take action on patrolling mail carriers and protecting mail delivery.

Brown wrote the board Thursday urging members to restore the patrolling functions of Postal Police Officers.

In a letter sent last month, Brown initially requested a response from DeJoy by Monday. Brown’s office has yet to receive one, he said in a release Thursday.

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“It has now been more than 30 days since I sent my letter and I have yet to receive a response or any outreach from USPS,” Brown said. “It is imperative that this matter be addressed as promptly as possible.”

Brown’s letter last month followed a Dayton Daily News investigation that found a rash of local mail thefts coincided with a reported 17-fold nationwide increase in checks stolen from the U.S. mail being posted for sale online.

The newspaper reported that Frank Albergo, national president of the postal police officers association, said mail theft arrests dropped from more than 2,000 in fiscal year 2019 to a projected 1,200 in fiscal 2022 after a federal policy restricted their arrest powers in 2020.

“It’s a disaster, it really is,” Albergo told this newspaper.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Brown has argued that the Postal Service’s decision to halt the practice of having Postal Police Officers (PPO) — members of the nation’s first and oldest federal law enforcement agency — patrol along mail carrier routes and around USPS collection boxes was “misguided.”

In past months, items have been stolen from at least seven different post office mailboxes in Beavercreek, Dayton, Kettering and the Centerville/Washington Twp. area.

“This decision is making mail carriers and the communities they serve less safe, and must be reversed,” the senator wrote last month.

A copy of Brown’s Oct. 14 letter is available here. A copy of his letter to the USPS board is available here.

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