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Glue trap found inside USPS collection box in Rancho San Diego

Glue trap found inside USPS collection box in Rancho San Diego
Posted at 5:06 PM, May 16, 2024

RANCHO SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - A local man trying to mail out some bills made a sticky discovery inside a USPS collection box in Rancho San Diego.

Outside the Rancho San Diego Towne Center, a thief is shopping inside a blue collection box.

“It makes you feel violated,” said Drew Prueitt.

On Monday, Pruitt went to the collection box to mail bills.

“Parked. Got my mail in the hand. Put it in the slot. It didn't feel right. It was sticking, pushing back on me,“ said Prueitt.

Pruitt looked inside, and did a double take.

“I look inside. Down inside, and here it is: a glue strip, and it says the word ‘mouse’ on it … There was mail stuck to it,” said Prueitt.

His was able to drop his mail into the box, before calling a local Postal Inspection Service office and filing a complaint.

The next day, he received this email stating: ’We have fixed the issue.'

That issue has been plaguing the US Postal Service for years.

ABC 10News has been documenting complaints dating back nearly a decade, of planted glue traps, allowing thieves to fish out mail, specifically checks. Those checks are then chemically washed, and made out to the thieves to the tune of hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars.

In early February, Stephen Kapp mailed a check for a health-related bill at the same collection box.

Soon after, he discovered the check had been washed, and rewritten in the amount of $1,400. His bank ultimately deemed it fraud and covered the amount, but Kapp called it a “surprising and frustrating” ordeal. He says he also reported it to the Postal Inspection Service in mid-March.

As for Prueitt, he mailed out two checks.

“A little nervous to hope that they go through,” said Prueitt.

After posting about those nerves in a Facebook post, I met Prueitt at the collection box.

Quickly, we discovered the issue had not been fixed.

Inside the slot, I saw the mouse trap. Near it were pieces of mail stuck inside.

I did reach out to the Postal Inspection Service, informing them of the location of the collection box.

In the past, similar glue traps have shut down the blue boxes.

“It's sad we can't use a mailbox anymore. We have to guard our mail,” said Prueitt.

The USPS has introduced more secure collection boxes, including some with smaller slots and a mechanism to grab mail once its inserted.

It's unclear how many have been placed in San Diego County.

When asked about the glue trap found at the collection box in Ranch San Diego, a US Postal Inspection Service spokesperson said, “I will ensure it’s addressed.”

She also issued the following statement:

“The US Postal Inspection Service is the law enforcement branch, crime prevention and security arm of the Postal Service, and we take mail theft matters very seriously. If anyone sees a mail thief, have them call police immediately, then report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 (say “Theft”). If they notice something unusual or damage on a mail receptacle, please have them contact their local Post Office to report it and notify Postal Inspectors.”