Seattle residents in the 98118 zip code had to pick their mail up at the post office last week after the United States Postal Service paused delivery due to rising thefts.
“Mail delivery to less than 900 residents in parts of south Seattle was affected last week because of equipment security concerns. Improvements to the affected equipment were made, and all mail was delivered to the impacted residents,” Postal Service spokesperson Kim Frum told Fox News Digital.
The delivery pause was tied to thieves stealing a master key used by postal workers to open cluster mailboxes found in apartment buildings all throughout the city, KIRO 7 reported. Mail delivery resumed this past Tuesday.
While some residents received a notice from their apartment building of the pause, others said they learned through Facebook or by talking to neighbors. Residents had to go to the post office to pick up their mail. Some waited more than 45 minutes, only to be turned away when the post office closed at 5:00 p.m.
Resident Juana Esquibel said she tried picking up her mail three times and even got off work early to pick it up.
Nancy Truittpierce told KING5 that the post office could not give a date when delivery services would resume:
“I was asking one of the women when I was picking up my mail, ‘How much longer?’” Truittpierce said. “They don’t even know; they can’t tell us. They’re telling us to rent a post office box; that’s not an answer. That’s a ridiculous answer; there are people who aren’t able to do that.”
The United States Postal Service announced robberies of mail carriers are 50% higher than last year, KIRO 7 reported. Robberies have more than quadrupled in the last decade, with criminals targeting Arrow and Modified Arrow Lock (MAL) Keys, Fortune reported. USPS is currently in the process of replacing 49,000 of the arrow lock keys with electronic versions to deter criminals from robbing mail carriers.