Federal authorities are now confirming to 9 Investigates that a Sioux City postal worker is the target of a criminal probe involving numerous potential cases of mail theft.
You send a greeting card to a loved one for a birthday, an anniversary or other special occasion and perhaps you’ve enclosed cash or a gift card.
But as 9 Investigates has learned, if your card was mailed from Sioux City, the gift inside may never have arrived.
“It’s something that we all have to be aware of and we all have to know that it could happen,” says Mark Hinds of Sioux City who occasionally sends gifts through the mail. But as someone who works in the cyber-security industry – he’s mindful of the potential for theft.
A document obtained by 9 Investigates suggests anyone who mailed money recently has reason to worry. In it, federal agents detail allegations of mail tampering by a Sioux City Postal employee.
The regional mail processing center in Sioux Falls reported that numerous envelopes containing greeting cards sent from Sioux City were quote “torn or appeared opened in some manner”, triggering a criminal investigation by postal inspectors.
“I think it’s very untrustworthy now,” says Desiree Dean, who during a visit to the Sioux City Post Office told KCAU she’ll be weary of sending gifts through the mail in the future.
As postal inspectors reach out to possible victims to try and pinpoint just how much money and gift cards may have been stolen, they say they’re trying to determine if the tampered mail items were dropped off at the Sioux City post office or into blue collection boxes only to later be opened by the postal worker who is the target of the probe.
Hinds, the cyber-security professional, says a thief opening mail in an attempt to steal is always a possibility so he suggests sending money in a way that can be traced.
“If sizeable amounts are used, I normally use a digital transfer instead. They tend to be much more secure. Especially if they’re done carefully and done well,” says Hinds.
For Dean, word of the potential Sioux City mail thefts has resulted in a loss of trust in the postal service.
“I’m putting my trust into these people thinking that they’re going to get my gift to whoever I’m sending it to [safely] and I don’t think I’ll be sending anymore gifts or money,” says Dean.
The postal service’s inspector general is conducting this mail theft investigation.
The office declined to comment beyond what is contained in the document we obtained, citing the on-going investigation.