8 on Your Side: Community Outraged by Damaged Mailboxes
By Michelle Mortensen, Investigative Reporter - email
LAS VEGAS - The residents and homeowners association of Westchester Manor near Smoke Ranch Road and Jones Boulevard were fed up with trashed mailboxes.
The mailboxes weren't just an eyesore. They served as a reminder residents at Westchester Manor were also victims.
"I was one of the first people who had my identity stolen," said HOA President Kate Lindsay.
She says thieves stole checks, gift cards and credit card applications from the mailboxes – leading to identity theft. Residents blame the crimes on the mailboxes, which they say weren't secure.
"I got angry one day, a long time ago, and just started a war with the Post Office," said resident Jeanette Von Hatten.
Von Hatten, other residents and the HOA reported the crimes to the Post Office for 10 years. "The Post Office decided the way to fix that would be to just not accept outgoing mail anymore," said Lindsay.
These residents lived with that suggestion for a decade, even though the list of complaints and crimes continued to grow.
"Sometimes, you would call and they would say, ‘No one has ever reported it,' or ‘It will go on a list for inspection,'" said Lindsay.
Fed up, the HOA took a different route and contacted 8 on Your Side. "One day I'm watching TV, and you came on the television, and I thought, ‘Why not?'" said Lindsay.
8 on Your Side contacted the U.S. Postal Service office in Denver. A representative said they heard from a homeowner in the area for some time, but said they did not receive reports of break-ins. Residents like Von Hatten and Lindsay dispute that claim.
Regardless, the Postal Service representative said new mailboxes would be ordered. Four days later, the boxes arrived.
"I was completely flabbergasted," said Lindsay.
"My God, it's a miracle," added Von Hatten.
The residents can now put outgoing mail in their mailboxes, and their privacy is once again secure.
If you have a problem you want investigated, contact 8 on Your Side at 702-650-1907.
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