KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
July 14, 2023
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy’s ongoing struggles with mail service and local post offices continued this week when no one answered a concerned resident regarding a postal worker leaving a community mailbox unlocked and opened.
The community mailboxes in Westfield Terra on Wild Berry Drive. Photo credit: Ava L.
Katy Resident Mailboxes Left Unlocked, Opened
Tuesday, Katy resident Ava L. returned to her home in Westfield Terra to see the postal worker putting mail in the community mailbox around 1:00 p.m. She didn’t have time to wait on her mail then and went back around 6:30 p.m. and found that the community mailbox had been left unlocked and wide open.
Attempts to Reach Out to Postal Service Unsuccessful
She immediately alerted neighbors on Wild Berry Drive through social media of the situation and made plans to notify the post office the next day.
“I attempted to call my local post office, but of course no one answered the phone,” says Ava. “The automatic message stated that no one was available to pick up at the time.”
Ava then tried to file a claim online but was skeptical.
“I did not receive a claim number which makes me feel like it will not get routed to the appropriate person,” says Ava.
She then went to a post office on Fry and Park Row to seek out a supervisor and was given a paper document to fill out. The supervisor asked her is she was the same person who filled out a similar complaint last week and she was not.
"It’s really sad that this keeps happening and they keep making excuses for the mail clerks," says Ava. When the supervisor suggested that it could have been an issue of vandalism she pointed out that is why she took good pictures and videos to show that the mail was still in the boxes.
Sadly, this is part of an ongoing issue that residents keep having with the local postal service. For years residents have complained about damaged community boxes, to stolen mail, boxes left open, and just a lack of communication.
“Katy is no longer a rural small town,” says Katy resident M.F. “It is now a large thriving city and the postal service needs to improve significantly to keep up.”
This is a topic that Katy Magazine has covered before and will continue follow up as this is something that impacts our community. Katy Magazine reached out for comment and as of the time of publishing there has been no response. We followed the prompt and was cut off after around 15 rings. There was no option to leave a message.
The theft of or tampering of mail is considered a federal crime and those found guilty can receive up to 180 days in jail to 10 years in prison. Judges can also issue a fine from $4,000 to $10,000 and more if mail was stolen from the elderly or disabled.
Protect Your Mail
While residents can’t protect their mailboxes, there are some steps they can take to protect their mail.
Find out when mail gets delivered and pick it up within the hour.
Have a neighbor pick up your mail if you’re unavailable.
Request a mail hold when going on vacation or ask a neighbor to collect it.
Arrange for a private box at the local post office.
Send Concerns to:
Katy Magazine couldn’t find a local way to properly file a complaint. On a National level, residents can send a letter:
United States Postal Service
Office of the Consumer Advocate
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW Washington, D.C. 20260-2200