Fort Mill area hit by mail thieves stealing directly from blue drop-off boxes

The thieves targets things that look valuable, such as checks and packages.
The thieves are believed to be using master keys to open the mailboxes.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 6:01 PM EDT
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FORT MILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Fort Mill Police are asking for help after they say mail is being stolen straight from the post office.

It is being taken from the blue drop-off mailboxes. People are opening these boxes up with a key and taking the mail.

For one person affected by this, who asked to remain anonymous, the blue mailboxes were a safe, convenient way to pay her bills. Until recently.

”I noticed some woman on NextDoor comment that she had dropped packages at this box and they were stolen,” she said.

She said she did not think much about her checks in the same box. Then, the bank called.

”I got a notification from my bank of a withdrawl, and it’s not in any amount that I had written,” she said.

Two forged checks later, she realized thieves stole $5,000 from her account.

”Violated. I was very angry that I was very naïve to believe the post office was protecting me,” she expressed.

Police say they are not taking all the mail though. Instead, the thieves are looking to take things that look valuable—things like checks and packages. And it has not just been happening at the post office. York County Sheriff’s Office has also been involved because it’s been happening all over the Tega Cay and Fort Mill areas.

WBTV spoke with a post office carrier, who also wanted to stay anonymous, who said one master key can unlock blue boxes across Tega Cay, Indian Land and Fort Mill. Those master keys are supposed to be secure. When WBTV told the affected mailer this information, it sent her reeling.

”No one is doing anything to protect us,” she said.

The post officer carrier said from their perspective, even though several mail thefts were reported, nothing was done to stop it.

WBTV reached out to the post office and the US Postal Inspection Office, who handles cases like this. We did not hear back from either place. The theft victim says security was the main reason she used the blue box.

”I don’t use my home mailbox because I know it’s not secure,” she said. “But I would think that these blue boxes were secure.”

Calls to her post office and councilmember did not result in much change. So she is warning who she can, while others are posting handwritten warnings on the boxes directly to keep people away.

”The only thing I’ve been able to do is warn my neighbors about this so they don’t become victims of this,” she said. ”I’m not gonna use them anymore.”

Fort Mill Police say if you have to mail something out, do not put it in a blue box. Instead, walk it into the post office and make sure you hand it to someone working inside.

Related: Engagement ring missing after delivery driver takes box during return shipment

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