Livermore residents buy new mailboxes after theft, vandalism say USPS should have helped

LIVERMORE, Calif. (KGO) -- California is seeing a big increase in mail thefts. It has been a particularly big problem in the East Bay. ABC7 News has discovered that Livermore residents have been buying new mailboxes when it's really the post office's responsibility.

RELATED: Martinez mailbox theft victims say boxes haven't been fixed after months

After thieves stole their mail and broke their cluster box at the end of January, Julie Herd called the postmaster inspector to report the problem and find a solution. "The post office wasn't exactly helpful," she said. "They referred me back to the local post office who then referred me back to the hub, who then so helpfully told me it's not their responsibility to fix the post office boxes."

Herd did what she was told and ordered a new $1,300 cluster box, had her neighbors pitch in for the replacement and installed it on Fieldstone Court at the end of February.

But six weeks later, the post office still hasn't installed their locks on the mailbox to make it functional.

Roseanne Thompson also lives in the neighborhood and has been reporting the problem to the supervisors at their post office on Las Positas Court. "Who told me there's 500 locks on back order and like, basically you just have to wait," Thompson told ABC7 News.

U.S. Postal Service spokesman Gus Ruiz also says USPS should be paying for new mailboxes, not residents.

He says the Livermore postmaster is trying to track down their miscommunication. "He's currently checking with the supervisors if for some reason that may have been erroneously been told by one of his supervisors," Ruiz said.

Post office officials say if your mailbox has been vandalized, call your police department.

You can report the problem to the postal inspector by calling 877-876-2455.

Click here to look up and contact your postal inspector online.
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.