HARRIS COUNTY, TX – US Postal Inspectors are working to locate the persons responsible for dumping two bins of stolen postal service mail into a townhome complex dumpster overnight.
Among the stolen mail were two absentee ballots. One addressed for Baton Rouge which had been opened and showed a vote for President Donald Trump. The second ballot did not appear to be tampered with, but it was being sent to an address in California.
Surveillance footage showed two men arriving at the apartment complex around 3:30 a.m where they proceeded to dump the stolen postal bins into a dumpster near the security gates.
Postal Inspector and Public Information Officer Sylvia Torres released this statement regarding the stolen mail:
Postal Inspectors responded to a report of stolen mail found dumped at 11240 Perry Rd., Houston, TX. Inspectors have reviewed surveillance images of two suspects dumping stolen mail into a dumpster at that location. Inspectors have recovered and are reviewing the mail.
Inspectors spoke with at least one victim, who stated they deposited their mail piece last night into the blue USPS collection box outside the T.W. House post office located at 1300 W. 19th St., Houston, TX 77008. At this time, it is unknown if the mail was taken from any other location. If any customers placed mail into the collection box outside T.W. House post office last night, Inspectors urge them to file a report with the USPIS by calling our hotline at 877-876-2455 and saying “Theft,” or by visiting our website at www.uspis.gov/report.
The recovered mail included two ballots. Postal Inspectors are working to identify those victims and will work swiftly with the local election commission to ensure any affected election mail is routed to the appropriate party. If you believe your mail-in ballot may have been impacted by this incident, please contact your local election office to confirm receipt and identify options for tracking your ballot.
While the U.S. Mail continues to be one of the safest methods of transmitting information and goods, mail theft does occur. However, there are steps postal customers can take to minimize becoming a victim. Don’t let incoming sit in your mailbox. Postal Inspectors recommend checking your mailbox every day and removing your mail as promptly as possible. The longer your mail stays in the mailbox, the more susceptible it is to theft. There are some steps that customers can take to maintain the safety of their outgoing mail. Customers can place their mail into the mail slot inside the lobby of their local post office. They can also place it into an official blue USPS collection box BEFORE the last collection time, which is displayed on the box.
For more information on how the Postal Inspection Service is helping to protect your election mail, visit our website: www.uspis.gov/election-mail-security/.