A skyrocketing crime rate is impacting Americans in all corners of the country, but areas of the Pacific Northwest have become especially dangerous in recent years.
Along with Portland, Oregon, many neighborhoods around Seattle, Washington, have seen a sharp rise in violent attacks and property crimes — and the issue has even impacted mail delivery for some residents.
The U.S. Postal Service, known for its unofficial motto that “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” will prevent the delivery of the mail, nevertheless determined that it was temporarily too risky to do so in Seattle’s 98118 ZIP code.
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In Seattle the POST OFFICE stopped delivering in one postal zip code due to crime. This continues across the…
— Debbie Aldrich 🇺🇸 (@DebbieAAldrich) May 20, 2023
Last week, USPS spokesperson Kim Frum announced: “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.”
Although some of the affected residents received a letter informing them of the pause in mail delivery, others said they found out through social media posts and other indirect means. In order to pick up their mail, the individuals impacted by the move were required to visit a local post office in person, where wait times approached an hour and some were told to leave when the facility closed at 5 p.m.
Juana Esquibel said she attempted to retrieve her mail on three separate occasions and had to leave work early in order to make it to the post office.
Another resident claimed a postal employee encouraged her to rent a post office box.
“That’s a ridiculous answer,” said Nancy Truittpierce. “There are people who aren’t able to do that.”
Although mail delivery reportedly resumed last week, she said that answers were hard to come by while the pause was ongoing.
“I was asking one of the women when I was picking up my mail, ‘How much longer?’” she recalled. “They don’t even know. They can’t tell us.”
According to reports, a series of thefts was tied to a stolen master key that can open mailboxes at certain residential locations across the area. The USPS is reportedly updating such locks nationwide with electronic latches that are designed to thwart such criminals.
Robberies involving U.S. postal carriers have increased by about 50% in just the past year and are four times higher than the rate reported a decade ago.