By Tim McNicholas
PARK RIDGE, Illinois (WBBM) — A northern suburb has gotten so many complaints about the postal service they’ve created a web page to help field them all.
It’s happening in Park Ridge where we broke the story of a pattern of mail theft and check fraud last fall.
CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas shows us how city hall is pushing for improvements.
“You can get to it right to the home page.”
Here’s something you don’t see every day.
“U.S. post office complaints.”
A politician welcoming complaints.
“I know whether I welcome them or not they’re coming up. So, I may as well look with a positive view and really try to solve them.”
The office of Park Ridge Mayor Marty Maloney launched a web page dedicated to complaints, not about his office — but the postal service.
The kind of complaints we discovered last fall when we uncovered a pattern of mail theft and check fraud in the suburb.
“I was just shocked.”
“It’s not just a one-off.”
“It happened to so many more people, but it was worse.”
Turns out, we weren’t the only ones getting calls from concerned citizens.
“I think at the height of it we were probably at dozens per week, for that initial surge when everybody was realizing there was a problem,” Maloney said.
Some were confused about who to complain to between the local post office, the National Postal Service, or postal investigators.
The mayor’s office also started to hear more complaints from people frustrated with the mail service in general.
The goal of the page is to organize those complaints and deliver feedback to the people who can create change.
“They collect those responses, and then they deliver them on a weekly basis to the postmaster general and Jan Schakowsky’s office,” he said.
Court records show a thief or thieves broke into these blue boxes outside the Park Ridge post office at least seven times in the past year.
Now the postal service has them out of service. They’ve been taped off for months.
We’ve also reported blue box break-ins in other suburbs. And in Lincolnwood, we discovered 18 reports of mail theft and check fraud over the past year and a half.
“This type of crime is actually spreading all over.”
David Maimon is a criminology professor with Georgia State University.
“Unfortunately, at this point, I think the best thing to do is maybe leave your mail with the post office clerk or go to UPS,” he said.
But Mayor Maloney says USPS is still safe.
“I’m using it myself every day,” Maloney said.
And he’s working to make it safer.
If you are the victim of mail theft you should also file a police report both locally and with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
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