Postal inspectors are searching for a suspect or suspects after a break-in at the Franklin Square Post Office in Downtown Santa Clara.
“We had several individuals break into six PO boxes there at the Franklin Mall Post Office. Right now, mail has been taken,” said Jeff Fitch, a Postal Investigator and Public Information Officer with the local division of the United States Postal Service (USPS).
The break-in occurred sometime around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Fitch will not say at this time if there’s security video, but he does say it’s an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about the break-in should call the USPS 24-hour number, (877) 876-2455.
“The postal service also has a standing reward of up to $10,000 for information leading up to an arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible,” said Fitch. “That’s a standing reward, that’s always there.”
Fitch says while this crime happened around the holidays, this is something that the postal service investigates year-round.
“It’s a year-round issue,” said Fitch. “Mail thefts and break-ins like this are something based on when the bad guys decide to commit the crime.”
Postal inspectors have contacted or are in the process of contacting the people affected.
If caught, the suspect or suspects will face stiff penalties and fines.
“[This] is a federal offense. Potential penalty of up to five years in federal prison; up to $250,000 fine,” said Fitch.
The post office was back open on Dec. 26 after a being closed for Christmas. Other than the damage to the boxes, the post office was running as normal.
The post office boxes affected are taped up with black plastic covering them. Similar boxes in the row have small windows that allow you to see inside the box. The boxes are historic, part of the post office that’s been there since 1933, but Fitch says the goal is to restore them as soon as possible.
“Depending on the office, they may have materials right there for the repair or they may have to bring them in,” said Fitch. “It will match. We have a certain requirement security wise. It will match the security requirement as well as it will match with the inside of the PO Box lobby.”
There’s no word yet on when the post office boxes will be fixed.