Gaston, SC (Paul Kirby) – The outgoing blue mail boxes at several Lexington County US Post Offices have been pried open and emptied according to a source with the postal service. The boxes in Swansea, Gaston, and several other small towns were hit in various parts of the county. According to these sources, it appeared as if someone had pried open the box with some sort of bar or other device and cleaned them out. Often these have corrugated plastic bins or cloth bags inside them and once they are opened, it would be easy to pick up the whole container from the steel box’s interior and make off with everything.
Local law enforcement does not investigate these types of crimes. It is a federal offense to tamper with these or the US mail. The US Postal Service has its own law enforcement branch called the US Postal Inspectors’ Office, and these officers have very broad enforcement powers. We have been in contact with the inspectors assigned to the regional district of the postal service and they have said they are checking into it.
In several cases, the doors to the outer box were so severally damaged that they have been either replaced or will need to be refurbished. The US Postal Service has said that if you believe something you mailed may have been in one of the boxes that was damaged last weekend, you should contact the post master at your branch, not the local police.