Postal service investigators looking into mailbox break-ins at Perrinville, downtown post offices

Both the lobby of the downtown Edmonds Post Office, pictured here, and the Perrinville Post Office are open 24/7. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

The law enforcement branch of the United States Postal Service is investigating the break-ins of P.O. boxes at both the Perrinville and downtown Edmonds Post Office lobbies during the past two weeks.

Edmonds Acting Assistant Chief Josh McClure said that multiple P.O. boxes were broken into at the Perrinville Post Office lobby on Dec. 26, and again on Jan. 3. Then, on Jan. 5, police took a report of several P.O. boxes broken into at the downtown Edmonds Post Office. While Edmonds police responded to the incidents and also left business cards in the affected boxes so that customers could follow up, the U.S. Postal Service conducts its own investigation into such matters, McClure said.

U.S. Postal Inspector John Wiegand said that investigators will be looking to see if video footage is available to help identify suspects. He didn’t immediately know if either post office lobby had video cameras.

Both the Perrinville and downtown Edmonds lobbies are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a practice that Wiegand said “is common” nationwide. The reason? To ensure that customers have access to their mail regardless of their work schedules or other obligations.

Asked whether local post office officials have ever decided to reduce their lobby hours following repeated thefts or other problems, he said “that does happen from time to time.” Such a move would occur after officials have weighed the need to protect the community against making sure customers have access to their mail, he added.

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