A News 4 viewer found more than a hundred pieces of mail inside an empty apartment in Lockport that were never delivered.
The mail should have been delivered months ago in Tonawanda but was instead found in an apartment recently vacated by a mail carrier. A News 4 viewer was cleaning out the apartment on Monday when she found the undelivered and unopened mail in the back shed. She called Postal Inspectors, who found even more bags of undelivered mail in the basement.
U.S. Postal Service Special Agent Scott Balfour said, “Currently we’re conducting an investigation to determine how that mail came into our possession.”
The person who found the mail says the woman who had just moved out was a mail carrier who delivered in the Tonawanda area. The News 4 viewer took a photo of one of the letters, which was addressed to a home on Minerva Street and was meant to be delivered last summer.
News 4 went to Minerva Street, and the very first person our reporter spoke with had a story about mail troubles.
Lana Oravec said, “Since July, we have missed about six or seven letters to pay bills and they never made it.”
Oravec had placed them in her mailbox for the mail carrier to take. She says they would disappear but never make it to the billing company.
“The bank told us to keep a record of all the ones that you don’t receive and hold onto them,” Oravec said. “We were thinking of calling the Post Office, maybe we should have. Maybe we would have stopped it sooner, but now my husband goes to the post office because we don’t trust the mail carrier.”
Special Agent Balfour says this type of occurance is not common.
“Most employees are honest, trustworthy people who would never consider delaying or stealing the mail or anything like that. But when Special Agents do receive these allegations, we investigate thoroughly,” he assured.
It could be several weeks before the U.S. Postal Services actually charges and names the mail carrier involved in this case. If the mail was never opened, she would not face as serious a charge, but even the delay or destruction of mail can bring a possible prison term.