Seattle’s out-of-control crime and drug problem have forced USPS to suspend delivery in one zip code
Out-of-control crime in the Democratic-led city of Seattle forced the United States Postal Service (USPS) to suspend deliveries to an entire zip code for a week.
About 900 residents of the 98118 zip code have not received their mail because delivery services were shut down due to mail theft and “equipment security issues.”
They were told to pick up their mail at the local post office and stood in long queues of up to an hour as delivery services were interrupted for a week before UPS lifted the ban on Tuesday.
Thieves had stolen a master key used by the USPS to open collection boxes, cluster boxes and outdoor parcel lockers.
It comes as Seattle continues to experience rampant crime, drug problems and massive numbers of homelessness.
Crime out of control in the Democratic-led city of Seattle forced the United States Postal Service (USPS) to suspend deliveries to an entire zip code for a week
They were told to pick up their mail at the local post office and stood in long queues of up to an hour as delivery services were interrupted before UPS lifted the ban on Tuesday
About 900 residents of the 98118 zip code have not received their mail as delivery services were shut down due to mail theft and “equipment security issues”
Residents living in the 98118 zip code claimed they were not told that their deliveries had been interrupted, but that they found out through neighbors or on Facebook.
“Mail delivery to fewer than 900 residents in parts of South Seattle was hit last week due to equipment security concerns. Improvements have been made to affected equipment and all mail has been delivered to affected residents,” a USPS spokesperson said.
“We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding as we work to maintain the safety and sanctity of the mail.”
A sign was posted on a mail container near Columbia that read, “Due to the increase in mail theft and vandalism, we will hold all mail for your address. We don’t have an exact date when all main locks will be replaced.’
While delivery services were paused, residents had to wait in queues of up to an hour at their local post office.
However, any mail that is not collected during the week that services are suspended will be delivered as normal.
Seattle’s violent crime rate is at its highest level in 15 years, based on annual 2022 crime statistics, with 5,642 reported cases, including 52 murders, 321 rapes, 1,759 robberies, and 3,510 aggravated assaults.
And property crime is the highest since 2008 with 44,408 recorded crimes, including 8,678 for burglary and 28,627 for theft.
This year there were 16 murders, 103 rape offenses, 429 robberies and 925 aggravated assaults.
While in 2023, 2,564 cases of burglary and 7,110 cases of theft have been registered so far.
Seattle, governed by Democratic mayor Bruce Harrell who was sworn in January 2022, also faces a drug problem and a homeless crisis with a growing number of homeless camps.
Seattle, governed by Democratic mayor Bruce Harrell who was sworn in January 2022, is also facing a drug problem and a homeless crisis with a growing number of homeless camps
Clinging to a needle, a man walks the streets of Seattle completely bent over
A man stares at the aluminum foil in which his fentanyl is burned, before inhaling the smoke through the rollup in his mouth
Harrell’s made it a point to do something about the burgeoning number of camps that sprang up in the city after inheriting the crisis.
Seattle spent $173 million on the homeless crisis in 2022. That’s a 125 percent increase from 2018, when $77 million was budgeted for the issue, according to city data.
The budget included a $9.8 million expenditure package to remove the encampments, which are often centered around RVs and house dozens of homeless residents.
However, despite the city’s best efforts, the number of camps has continued to rise, officials say, from 763 in May to 814 last June.
There were 13,368 people who were homeless in Seattle and King’s County last year.
And there is a problem with open-air drug markets on city streets, where people are openly using and selling drugs in front of horrified locals.
The corner of 3rd Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle is a particular hot spot for this problem with overdosing drug users and a haven for violent crime.
Robberies of mail carriers in the US have quadrupled in the past 10 years, and weapons were used in most of the 496 robberies last year, according to data from the Postal Inspectorate.
In the first half of fiscal year 2023, 305 mail carriers were robbed on the job and there were more than 25,000 reports of large-scale thefts from mail containers.
In March, a USPS courier was robbed at gunpoint outside her mail truck near Judkins Park, according to Seattle police.
She was approached by someone holding a gun and asked to hand over her phone and work keys.
And earlier this month, another delivery driver was held at gunpoint by a passenger in another car, but was able to drive away.
Harrell’s made it a point to do something about the burgeoning number of camps that sprang up in the city after inheriting the crisis
In 2022, 310 homeless people died, the vast majority from a drug overdose
In January, officials in Washington state made the terrifying announcement that they are running out of space in morgues and crematoriums as the drug rips through local communities
Mail carrier robberies usually involve taking their master key to open collection boxes, cluster boxes, and parcel boxes to steal items.
Carriers get one per route and must return them at the end of the day, but an audit in 2020 found the postal service had taken ineffective measures to track these keys with an unknown number lost, stolen or broken.
Those committing mail theft face up to five years in prison, while possessing, concealing or disposing of property can receive up to 10 years in prison.
The USPS and the United States Postal Service revealed earlier this month that they are expanding security measures to stop mail theft and protect their carriers from attack.
Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy said, “As crime rises, so do threats against our officials.
“The men and women of the Postal Service walk the streets of our nation every day fulfilling our mission: to deliver mail and packages to the American people.
“Every postal worker deserves to work safely and be free from the target of criminals seeking access to the public’s mail.”