HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Several mailbox collection boxes across Central Virginia have been tampered with, a USPS investigation revealed.
According to United States Postal Inspector Michael Romano, USPS received several calls from post offices that had their mailboxes broken into. The following post offices were affected:
- 4990 Sadler Place
- 2000 Starling Drive
- 2100 E. Parham Road
- 7510 Lady Blair Lane
- 1201 Sycamore Square Drive
- Genito Station, 3530 Post Office Road
- 805 Glenburnie Road
Romano adds that stealing mail is a federal offense and punishable by law. The penalty for stealing mail is up to five years in federal prison.
According to Romano, investigators are still working to figure out who committed the thefts, and if any of the incidents are election-related.
“We don’t have any information whether the boxes contained any sort of election mail,” Romano added.
8News spoke with a couple of USPS customers outside of the post office. They said if someone was trying to steal or tamper with mail-in ballots that it is a big problem.
“This is clearly a voter suppression technique,” said Mary Anne Pugh. “That may not be their motive, but it was certainly the first thing that came to my mind.”
“That would be a huge concern, if that’s what it turns out to be,” another customer added.
“I prefer to actually go and vote in-person versus a mail-in or absentee ballot,” said Dennis Wells. “If it turns out that they are trying to steal mail-in ballots, that’s going to be a concern.”
None of the customers mailed their ballots in and preferred to vote in person.
The Virginia Department of Elections said they were made aware of the six mail collection boxes that were broken into. They said at this time, “the Department nor USPS has any information about whether any election mail was contained in the boxes.”
Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said in a statement Monday that she is “extremely dismayed and disturbed” by the postal box break-ins.
“Although they are federal property and, therefore, federal law enforcement will be
handling the case, I will be following this case carefully and have offered my assistance to federal
“Voting is a sacred right in a democracy, and it must not be undermined.”
The Department is asking anyone who dropped mail-in ballots at the post offices between 3 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. this morning to contact USPIS at 877-876-2455 and report it.
If you dropped off your ballot at any of these locations and are concerned, you can track your ballot. If you need a new ballot, you can contact your local general registrar’s office.
8News is working on gathering more info. Stay with 8News for updates.