WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Junction post office posts new lobby hours after reported theft

Thanks to Val for the tip and the photo of that notice posted on the door at the West Seattle Junction Post Office. We don’t know if the new closure time is actually in effect yet – after getting Val’s note, we went over to verify, and a door was still wide open at 7:55 pm (the USPS website, meantime, cites an even-earlier closure time) – but we do have a potential answer to Val’s question of what the reason might be: Multiple readers told us this week that a local accounting firm had told customers they had been “notified by the U.S. Post Office that mail thieves broke into approximately a dozen post office boxes at their West Seattle Branch on or around February 16th.” We hadn’t found a corresponding police-report number yet so have no further details, but are mentioning it given the lobby-closure notice.

41 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Junction post office posts new lobby hours after reported theft"

  • Chris D March 16, 2018 (9:40 pm)

    Why are we letting these a-holes inconvenience us, we’re always placating and adjusting our way of life because of these d-bags.

  • Mike March 16, 2018 (9:51 pm)

    Considering the highly sensitive information at these locations (peoples Tax returns for one) maybe the FBI should step in and do what’s needed to secure these locations as it’s a federal offense when this occurs.

    • Chuck March 16, 2018 (11:32 pm)

      Well said, Mike. I’d like to hear how the Feds plan to help alleviate this criminal activity. Unacceptable.

      • Jon March 17, 2018 (11:20 pm)

        Sadly, I suspect it’s a bit like the old ‘Mattress Tag’ warning, when it comes to mail theft. The USPS doesn’t have the resources to have any sort of security beyond lockboxes and a comically insecure glass door. Maybe they have a 10-15 year-old, low-res security camera at best. And if you’ve ever had mail stolen, when’s the last time a ‘Special Agent’ (all FBI agents are ‘special’) came to your house and solved that great mystery for you?

        I’m not sure what the Feds would even be able to take from the (surely contaminated) crime scene; nor do I suspect anyone even cares besides the victims of the crime. It’s just one of those things society hopes will scare any potential perpetrators away from even attempting the crime in the first place. Problem is, someone got wise and realized that just making something illegal doesn’t prevent you from  actually doing it, so they went ahead with it. That, and it’s clear as day to anyone that SPD presence is “minimal”, at best.

        The lesson to be learned is: don’t rely too much on others – especially the government – when it comes to protecting yourself and your property. If you know of a more secure service, I would probably spend the extra money for it.

        • KT March 18, 2018 (2:25 pm)

          Postal crimes are to investigated by the FBI.  The U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigates all crimes involving the US mail system.

  • Flimflam March 16, 2018 (10:35 pm)

    Ah, just a minor crime. No one was injured or killed so just life in the city, right? I mean, if you have something you should expect it to be stolen, broken into or otherwise messed with

    • Amy March 31, 2018 (9:02 pm)

      Why would you even make a comment like this? Anyone having their stuff taken is not something we all should expect. This is a situation that needs to be rectified.  For you to make a comment of this nature sounds like you are the one who takes from others.  Not saying you do, but sounds like it. Have empathy for those who are affected by this. Feel free to respond with attitude. I have nothing more to say. 

  • Alki resident March 16, 2018 (10:46 pm)

    Perhaps West Seattle should just shut down after 5:30 pm everyday and we all hide in our homes to avoid all and any possible crime related situations. 

    • Amy March 31, 2018 (9:06 pm)

      This is an unnecessary comment. This is serious issue that people are affected by. Please if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything. 

  • Under Achiever March 16, 2018 (11:12 pm)

    Give and give and give a little each day and eventually end up giving way too much.  Maybe already have…

  • T March 17, 2018 (1:44 am)

    It sucks our quality of life is dictated by the criminal element. On some level I understand why decisions like this are made but I am so tired of having choices limited because of the actions of the minority (bad apples in society).

    • Jon March 17, 2018 (11:10 pm)

      Yeah, it does suck. I’m not sure why we don’t learn these lessons from San Francisco, Vancouver, et cetera.

      Vote out the sitting government who continually tries the same thing, over and over, to worse and worse results.

  • Rick March 17, 2018 (8:30 am)

    It appears that criminals rights have superseded our “pursuit of happiness” right that I think I read about in that old,outdated constitution thing.

  • B.W. March 17, 2018 (9:27 am)

    It doesn’t appear that our city council hears us. They only hear the criminals.

  • valvashon March 17, 2018 (10:11 am)

    I’m the tipster and this will affect me directly.  I often have a need to send a small package first class with a tracking number and early in the morning, before I leave for my actual job is (was) a great time to do so.  I’m trying to keep postage costs low for customers of my hobby business and USPS First Class with tracking at $3.50 (from the automated kiosk) as opposed to Priority Mail small box at $7.20 (which I can buy at home and drop off in the outside box [?] cuts a customer’s postage by more than half.  The cynical person would say that they are trying to increase their revenue by decreasing use of the automated kiosk but I think overall they will lose business to other shipping services.  How about a credit/debit card reader on the door at night (like to get into an inside cashpoint at a bank) or really high quality security cameras with recording and monitoring?  Breaking into multiple P.O. Boxes would have taken some time and recording some high quality images or catching them in the act would have easily been possible.

  • J March 17, 2018 (11:02 am)

    Call me a grammar N*zi if you will but I think it’s very sad that the USPS and their government employees are incapable of creating a sign using “its” properly. What we have here is “…closing IT IS Customer Lobby.” Learn contractions, USPS. They’re not that hard. 

    • Kathy March 17, 2018 (11:21 am)

      Amen to that! Not to mention possessives – do they only serve one customer? 

    • valvashon March 17, 2018 (12:47 pm)

      I’m a grammar “N” too but was too busy being affected by the news on the notice to give it a proper proofing.  I’d move that “it’s” down to the last sentence in place of the clumsy “it” and make it “its” in the first sentence.  I realize that the English language is always changing but this isn’t how it’s supposed to change.

  • Fiz March 17, 2018 (12:20 pm)

    Thankful that they didn’t need to use “your” for “you’re” in the notice – 

  • WSeattleite March 17, 2018 (1:21 pm)

    Fear not contributing members of society that utilize the usps to operate a business or lawfully pay taxes and other usps communique. It is highly likely that those whom stole your property were in great need, and as such should not held to the standards that are expected of you. They are but trying to survive, and with a booming economy and low unemployment rate, cannot be expected to earn a lawful living through having a job.  Your City council is on top of this and is setting up a taxper funded fund to provide protection for these people. It is only the humane thing to do.  Next City community council action will be to officially proclaimed that anyone need only follow the laws they care to on that day.  You will however be excluded from this proclamation if you have things. How dare you have things. 

    • NSAlki March 18, 2018 (10:27 am)

      Genuine question:

      Every neighbor, co-worker, friend I talk to is fed up with the city council. So who is voting for these clowns? Are you voting in elections? If everyone is so dissatisfied, why are we not seeing better leaders? Are a few areas in the city overwhelmingly voting for the current set of incompetent people?

      If we are all so upset and unhappy, let’s vote them out?

      • heyalki March 19, 2018 (6:50 am)

        I don’t feel like our votes even matter. Because every time everyone votes down a proposition, it passes anyway.

        • Jon Wright March 19, 2018 (8:18 am)

          As for votes counting, the most recent District 1 election was decided by 39 out of over 25,000 votes. It seems like votes counted quite a bit. And “every time everyone votes down a proposition, it passes anyway” makes no sense.

  • Rick March 17, 2018 (2:32 pm)

    “Inmates running the asylum”.

  • Jim P. March 17, 2018 (3:35 pm)

    Breaking in to a postal facility or stealing the US Mail, even from mail boxes in front of homes used to be a major, big deal Federal offense.

    When did this go away and it became reduced to something along the line of vandalism or littering?

    • pupsarebest March 17, 2018 (11:25 pm)

      Your comment is spot on. The issues at hand here are a FEDERAL OFFENSE. Yes? No? 

  • aa March 17, 2018 (5:02 pm)

    Valvashon talks about being inconvenienced by not being able to do pre-work mailing.  The sign doesn’t say when they will open the doors in the am does it?  Maybe it will be early morning.  Also, my imagination may be more limited than vv because  I can’t come up with a scenario where closing access to the machine increases revenue.

    And speaking of being inconvenienced by the federal government, small potatoes compared to Andrew McCabe losing his pension because our president is the worst boss imaginable.  I’m wondering today how all the working class trump supporters feel about him denying this long time employee his pension. 

    • carole March 17, 2018 (9:17 pm)

      Fear not for Mr. McCabe.  A congressman from Wisconsin has offered him a one week job relating to election data security which may indeed preserve his pension rights. Justice will prevail.

    • Jon March 17, 2018 (10:55 pm)

      Yeah, let’s make everything about Trump. That never gets old.

      Also, Andrew McCabe’s estimated worth sits around ~$11M USD. He earned over a $1M/yr, is married to a wealthy pediatrician, owns two giant homes (some would call them “mansions”), and multiple luxury sports cars — I don’t think he’ll be homeless, anytime soon. Even if he suddenly became homeless, he could sell off his assets and still probably live better than anyone in this commenting section.

  • alkigranny March 17, 2018 (8:17 pm)

    Please don’t waste additional taxpayer dollars by correcting the typos and reprinting the notice.

    • WSB March 17, 2018 (9:11 pm)

      Surely you jest. I don’t know that fixing and reprinting would cost even *a* dollar. That aside, everyone might consider looking at the cup-half-full side … at least there WAS a notice.

      • Rick March 18, 2018 (6:33 am)

        The cup is not half full or half empty. It is broken.

    • carole March 17, 2018 (9:18 pm)

      White out and a Sharpie will fix it cheap.

  • Marianne March 18, 2018 (11:05 am)

    So irritated right now! Nowhere do I see on the sign that the lobby will be locked on a Sunday morning, but it is…

    • WSB March 18, 2018 (11:29 am)

      If you follow the link above to the USPS website for this branch, it says SUNDAY – CLOSED for the lobby. Is that a change? We don’t do much mailing so I have no previous frame of reference. Meantime, I’m going to try following up on this tomorrow, though I haven’t had much luck with USPS media relations lately … TR

  • Jon Wright March 18, 2018 (3:10 pm)

    This post office is just the worst. Whether it is the saga of the drive-up mailbox, the lousy home delivery service, local management’s complete ambivalence, or now this, they always find a way to lower the bar.

    There are plenty of things they could have done to secure customers’ mail while preserving access but since locking the door was easiest for them (regardless how it impacted customers), that was the obvious solution.

    Incidentally, the revised collection times for the drive-up box that were reported at https://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/followup-westwood-village-drive-up-ride-up-mailbox-removed/#comments have reverted back. That’s a good thing but of course it happened without any notice or explanation.

  • Kevin March 18, 2018 (6:32 pm)

    My PO Box was broken into and a package stolen. My theft happened back in late December/early January. I filed a police report and also a report with the US Postal Inspector.

    The problem is that the actual PO Boxes appear to be the original boxes installed when the office was opened in the Kennedy era. Some boxes can be easily opened without a key — a simple tug opens it right up.

    The post office needs to update the equipment. I am bummed about it, but I’m planning to move my box someplace more secure.

  • West Coast Nomad March 19, 2018 (12:03 am)

    Really frustrating. I’m so not surprised by any of this. Last summer, a check I put in the drive up mailbox at this post office was stolen and promptly deposited into a credit union’s nearby ATM by one of their young customers, not by anyone who worked for the company l wrote on the check.

    I reported it to the post office and the police—it was grand larceny and a federal crime. The post office acted as if they’ve never had a theft problem. And the credit union knows who did it—it’s their customer, after all, and it wasn’t the first time—oh well. I’ve never heard another word about the case from the authorities but luckily got the money back from my bank after having to shut down and re-establish my entire bank account.

    I no longer put any payments in the mail, and whenever I try to drop off regular mail at this post office location (especially after dark) more and more often, sketchy people are hanging around on foot or sitting in cars outside. 

    So I wasn’t surprised when first the drive through mailbox went away and now the lobby lockdown. I agree with others who don’t understand why better security (stronger lock boxes, high res cameras, a security guard) can’t be put into place in this location after dark.  Those of us with legitimate postal business may have to take that business elsewhere. 

  • Brenda Luke March 19, 2018 (7:31 pm)

    Whoa! What’s with all the hate directed at you postal service? Anyway, try using Informed Delivery if you worry about your mail. Here’s the link:


    • Jon Wright March 19, 2018 (8:24 pm)

      Why the hate? Because I’ve been affected by lots of lousy service from the local post office. Informed Delivery is a wonderful tool and I like it very much. I’m sure if the local post office had anything to do with it, they would mess it up, too. 

    • West Coast Nomad March 19, 2018 (11:32 pm)

      Why the hate? Have you read any of the comments? People are having their mail stolen and basic services such as dropping off mail or having a P.O. Box are compromised.  It seems like people are still trying to use / support the post office but understandably expect better customer service and security. 

Sorry, comment time is over.