Be honest—did you notice? The curbside mailboxes in front of the East Los Angeles Branch Post Office (975 S. Atlantic Blvd., East LA, 90022) disappeared a few weeks ago. Granted, electronic mail is more of the norm nowadays; but, nevertheless, I was surprised when I tried to drop off some mail at the drive-by mailbox there and instead found an empty spot where they used to be. After a few such times of having to park and walk into the Post Office to drop off mail, I decided enough was enough and inquired on the missing boxes.
It turns out the mailboxes (or “Blue Box collection boxes” in postal lingo) were removed as a consequence of mail theft. Apparently, the mailboxes were tampered with and mail was stolen. Who would dare steal mail! Nothing is sacred these days of lingering recession. Those unlucky ones whose mail was stolen would have been understandably upset. I know because it happened to me more than once from these very same boxes.
However, the U.S. Postal Service® ought to reconsider its decision to not replace the mailboxes despite the thefts. That seems a bit extreme to me, and is more of a capitulation to the misdeeds of a few rather than a real solution to the problem. These boxes serve a purpose and provide convenience to many customers, particularly being conveniently located on the way to the I-5 freeway entrance. I urge the Postal Service to explore ways of enhancing security of these boxes so that they may be replaced and continue to serve. We wouldn’t have ATMs if we gave up that easily.
The Postal Service needs to hear from the community if it’s to replace the mailboxes. I encourage others to contact them in support of keeping our boxes. You can call to register your comments on this issue with their “Consumer Affairs” office at 323-586-1250, “Customer Service” hotline 800-275-8777, or website www.usps.com. Yes, you may experience a delay in getting thru to make your comment, no surprise there, but it’s important to retain this little amenity in our community … not like we have that many around in the first place.
Photo by cjc4454/Flickr