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USPS Investigating Mail Theft at Six Virginia Post Offices

Out of order mailbox
The U.S. Postal Service closed the mail drop-off boxes outside the Innsbrook post office. "Some level of mail" appears to have been stolen outside post offices across Central Virginia. (Photo: Patrick Larsen/VPM News)

*Patrick Larsen and Ben Paviour reported this story.

The U.S. Postal Service is investigating mail theft at six blue mail drop-off boxes located outside post offices across central Virginia.

U.S. postal inspector Michael Romano said on Monday that “some level of mail” appeared to have been stolen from the boxes outside post offices in Henrico County, Chesterfield County, and Richmond. Romano said it was unclear why the mail was taken, if the thefts were coordinated, or whether absentee ballots were among the missing mail.

“If we have any indication that there is sort of election fraud related, we are going to work closely with our counterparts at the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine what type of theft we have and aggressively investigate this case,” Romano said.

Incidents of mail theft are relatively rare; Romano said his team last investigated break-ins in July.

A representative for the Henrico registrar’s office reached on Monday morning said they were unaware of the mail theft. 

The six locations under investigation are:

  • Innsbrook Post Office, 4990 Sadler Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
  • Midlothian Post Office, 1201 Sycamore Square Drive, Midlothian, Virginia 23113
  • Westhampton Post Office, 805 Glenburnie Road, Richmond, VA 23226
  • Pocoshock Creek Post Office, 7501 Lady Blair Lane, North Chesterfield, Virginia 23236
  • Lakeside Post Office, 2100 E Parham Road, Henrico, Virginia 23228
  • Regency Branch Post Office, 2000 Starling Drive, Henrico, Virginia, 23229

Mail theft is a felony that carries up to a five-year prison sentence, with additional charges for potential fraud. People with knowledge of the case should call 1-877-876-2455; Romano said people with information may be eligible for a reward.

People who dropped off their mail at boxes at any of the sites between 3:30 PM on Saturday and 7 AM on Monday should also call 1-877-876-2455.

Romano said the safest way to send sensitive mail, including ballots, was to drop them inside of a post office or physically hand them to a mail carrier.

In a statement, the Department of Elections said voters can track their ballot online to see if it has been received by going to "check my registration" at the department's website. If a voter needs a new ballot issued, they should contact their local general registrar’s office.

This is a developing story.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that those who dropped mail between 3:30 P.M. Saturday and 7 A.M. Sunday should call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The correct end time was 7 A.M. Monday. We have updated the story.

VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.
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