The Flatbush Grinch

Outside the USPS Office on E 45st Flatlands, Brooklyn. Photo Credit: Dave Cook


USPS packages in the Flatlands, Brooklyn area have begun going missing frequently. Residents are outraged with the quality of USPS package deliveries arriving in the neighborhood. As the holiday season is here, many people around New York are Christmas shopping. Delivery trucks are delivering packages daily, but according to a USPS worker someone has been going around the Flatlands area stealing packages from residents in the neighborhood.

There are two USPS offices just blocks away from each other in the 11234 area. Mail for residents in this area comes from these locations and is picked up and sent out. According to a USPS worker who did not want to be identified, “someone has stolen the key that opens the green relay boxes” in the neighborhood. These relay boxes are only supposed to be accessed by USPS workers as they hold outgoing mail. With this key, the thief has access to all mail packages that go into the relay boxes and they can also use this key to open apartment mailboxes. The USPS worker also claimed that the thief “ is going around with a hood and a Uhaul truck taking packages from the relay boxes and people’s doorsteps.”

Speaking with residents in the Flatlands who are facing delivery problems it’s clear that they have no idea this is going on. Barbara Williams, a Flatlands resident, ordered five Christmas gifts for her grandchildren, she said, “Only two of the gifts came and I called USPS and told them I did not get any packages but they told me they delivered it.” It’s clear USPS workers are aware of the theft going on in the neighborhood but they are not letting residents know what is going on so residents can be cautious. Madeleine Charles, another Flatlands resident, was tracking her package that was out for delivery. She said, “ I was watching the tracking number on the USPS website and they said the package would deliver between four and five o’clock.” When Charles looked on the website again she was confused at the update they provided on the package. “The website said animal interference and this made no sense to me because I have no pets.” She later called the USPS office and they told her that the package was delivered but she never received her package. “It was very upsetting, I had to call the place I ordered from for help because USPS was no help,” said Charles.

Local precinct officers did not want to disclose any information about the package theft going on in the neighborhood for fear that cycles may be repeated. The USPS worker stated that “the police are not helpful with this matter at all. They don’t care. It’s like it happened to you, so what.” This USPS worker made it very clear that this matter is not so important to the NYPD and also some USPS workers in the office. This worker does try to take precautions on her end to make sure none of the mail she gives out is stolen. “ I don’t bring the mail back to the relay box, I take it directly to the office.” The supervisor at the USPS Flatlands location did not want to comment on the matter.