Another Hudson Valley post office is facing questions after 20 passport applications were lost in Rockland County, leading to a cacophony of angry voices seeking answers.
Lawmakers are demanding that the United States Postal Service “explain and remedy” the causes of the loss of the 20 applications in Tappan, which has since been confirmed by the USPS.
The missing passport applications is just the latest incident to plague the USPS in the Hudson Valley. Several alleged mail thieves were recently arrested in Bronxville, and a pair were caught on camera in Yonkers stealing from USPS mailboxes. Last year, there were also complaints of missing mail in Greenburgh, New Rochelle, Eastchester and other local municipalities.
“The loss of these passport applications points to further failures from the Postal Service, which over the past year have threatened the livelihoods and financial security of thousands of Hudson Valley residents by mishandling sensitive mail,” Congresswoman Nita Lowey stated.
“The inability or unwillingness of the Postal Service to acknowledge the scope of its problems and to implement meaningful changes is unacceptable, and further erodes customer confidence in mail delivery. It’s time the Postal Service is held accountable.”
Lowey learned of the missing passports when a Rockland County resident informed her office that the Connecticut Passport Agency in Stamford told him that his daughter’s passport was among the 20 applications lost in the mail following an April 20 passport event at the Tappan Post Office.
The Passport Agency confirmed to Lowey office that it never received the applications and stated that the office is making emergency appointments for every case, immediately issuing passports, and reimbursing applicants.
Officials, including Lowey, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Eliot Engel and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney sent a letter last week to United States Postmaster General Megan Brennan calling for the Postal Service to address theft of mail across the region.
In the letter, the officials highlighted incidents of stolen mail that resulted in financial fraud and identity theft in the Hudson Valley. “From missing payments to emptied bank accounts after thieves ‘wash’ checks pulled from collection boxes, mail theft threatens the livelihood of constituents.”
“These thefts occur daily, rapidly and significantly decreasing the reliability of the Postal Service,” they wrote. “These widespread incidents cost our constituents large sums of money and much time to remedy, not to mention the confidence and peace of mind that the Postal Service prides itself on providing.
“Mail theft threatens the livelihood of our constituents and impacts our most vulnerable populations. These thefts occur daily, rapidly and significantly decreasing the reliability of the Postal Service. Thieves are not only ‘ fishing ’ mail out of collection boxes, but are stealing the entire mailbox or using keys acquired from postal employees.”
Recently, a pair was busted with more than 100 pieces of stolen mail, and a duo in Yonkers were caught on video actively stealing from city mailboxes.
“Thieves use stolen mail to commit financial fraud and identity theft,” the Members wrote. “Our constituents have been accused of missing payments, and some of their bank accounts have been emptied after thieves “ wash ” checks pulled from mailboxes. These widespread incidents cost our constituents large sums of money and much time to remedy, not to mention the confidence and peace of mind that the Postal Service prides itself on providing.”New Westchester Postal Service Manager Roxanne Hosein said that they have started to receive “positive feedback” to some of the changes being made in the area following months of complaints.
“Like any other organization that competes for customers, it is essential that we continuously look for ways to adapt and improve. Under the leadership of Westchester District Manager Richard Conte, the good news is that we are beginning to receive positive feedback on our service; but rest assured, we have more work to do. The community feedback from our ongoing outreach activities is certainly paying dividends by helping us do a better job of identifying areas of opportunity for improvement.”
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