Maybe don't drop anything of importance in a Jamaica Plain mailbox for a bit

Folks in the Jamaica Plain group on Facebook are reporting incidents of their mail being grabbed out of mailboxes in the neighborhood and ripped open.

Emily Marsh reports:

Our letter carrier (I live near the brewery) found the torn-up remnants of a package I had mailed yesterday, on the corner of Amory and Boylston. I had put it in the blue box on that corner the day before. Seems like someone is reaching into the mailbox with some kind of device (!!) and pulling out packages. I'm pretty sure this is the second time this has happened because I mailed something else there a couple weeks ago and it never arrived.

Another JP resident, who lives near Franklin Park, reports something similar happened with checks she'd put in a mailbox there.

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Comments

Since this is a federal

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Since this is a federal offense the USPS will conduct a federal investigation. Our condo association in JP had an investigator assigned to our similar problem which was happening almost on a daily basis last holiday season. After a month or so, it stopped happening and all of a sudden we saw different mail carriers rotating every few days. To this day, I never received the $100 gift card my neice said she mailed! Without fail she sent one every year. After that, we decided ecards were the way to go!! So everyone should be extra vigilant with the upcoming holiday season and mail delivery, whether it's USPS, Fed Ex, UPS, Amazon, etc.

Don't Mess With USPS

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I love the USPS, and use it for all shipments, because the entire organization takes rules seriously, and they have the Postal Inspectors to back it up.

Except in JP

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In 59 years I never encountered a local post office that was so incompetent. The incompetence reached the point of being the Federal agency that Congressman Lynch's office received the most complaints about aside from the Vet hospital.

Considering the hefty

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Considering the hefty consequences, it sure takes a special kind of moron to open someone's mail. Thinking there must be a mental issue here, or simply the idiot doesn't know they can go to prison for a loooooooooog time.

What ever happened to good old fashioned train robberies?

Drugs

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People who need their next fix are only thinking about their next fix and not how long they might spend in prison for stealing someone's mail.

I'm guessing it's one of these

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Someone has come into possession of a mailbox key. Either they stole it or one of the USPS workers has gone rogue.

Given the shear physics of the mailbox design, I question that any "device" could allow things to be pulled up from a blue street mailbox.

There's also single-pin picking

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which is similarly low tech, but requires a bit more skill and opens much better locks. You just lift one pin at a time to the shear line while applying torque, and around she goes.

It's pretty fun, actually! I bought a set of picks online (note: each state has different laws) and a Masterlock at the drugstore. I had it open within about 2 minutes, to my own surprise. Master Lock brand is apparently Real Bad. From learning picking, I'm also learning which brands to avoid.

And there's raking, where you scrub a tool similar to a bump key in and out of the lock. I don't know much about that technique.

As a recovering New Yorker ...

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I have to admit, the first thing I thought of when I read the accounts was of the old days when really desperate people would suck tokens right out of the turnstiles. And then I tried to think of something else.

Apropos of which

Recently I had to explain to one of my kids what a subway token is.

"You know how, when you go to Chuck E. Cheese, you buy tokens to put in the game machines? It's like that, for the subway."

"So you'd have to carry a bunch of them around with you?"

"Yes, or wait in line to buy one every time you got on the subway."

Now that I think of it, though, that old system was actually much more convenient for out-of-town visitors than the current Charlie Ticket shitshow. World class, baby!

Counting room corruption

Though now there are computer records of how much money was put into the fare machines with audit trails so you don't have the "counting room" corruption issues like they did in the days of yore. The old T token was also the same size as the French penny so people who knew that who went over there would bring back a few rolls of their pennies to save money on the T.

The all-time classic token story

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was when the Connecticut Turnpike introduced toll tokens for frequent commuters. In a roll, they cost about 17 cents each. They were also almost the exact diameter and thickness of a NY City subway token, which (IIRC) at the time sold for 60 cents each.

NY City quickly figured out how to thwart the cheats by adjusting the turnstile slots so that the CT Pike tokens would only drop halfway. They then posted undercover officers at Grand Central and 125th Street subway stations to nab commuters coming in from the suburbs attempting to use Turnpike tokens.

Note that most of these cheats weren't impoverished college students or workers making minimum wage, but lawyers, ad men, and others making six-figure salaries.

10 centime coin

When I was in college, a 10 centime piece (1/100 of a Franc ... worth about two cents at the time) was a really good mimic for the MBTA token. People returning from Europe would get rolls of them to use as tokens.

The couple of times I got them when I bought tokens, the T people told me "just use it - you paid for it". They didn't have any way to weed them out.

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)

Plausible deniability

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Hah! So if you got caught using one... you could always just say it's what came out of the dispenser!

I was on the latest

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I was on the latest installment of the (long-term, ongoing) project of cleaning out my box room last night.

Down below the permafrost, in the 2003 layer, sorting contents of one carton which hadn't seen the light of day for many years - pitch/shred/keep - I came across an old pass/ID wallet of mine which had my last few MBTA Combo passes!

Glue

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On the Facebook discussion, people said that items that they got back (e.g., remnants of a package) had sticky stuff on them. Someone described it as similar to the glue used on glue traps. So they're thinking that the theives put this sticky thing at the end of a string, dropped it in, and fish things out.

ding ding ding

kids and druggies have taken on a routine that used to involve a check washing scheme. Now they just cash them at an atm so you have to trash a bank account. Which means they all get caught.

I would give the exact instructions but unfortunately it spreads the misery.

Bump key is way overestimating intelligence and effort.

We ain't going to the party

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We ain't going to the party
We ain't going to the game
We ain't going to the disco
Ain't gonna cruise down Main
We're stealing people's mail
Stealing people's mail on a Friday night

Interestingly at our last

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Interestingly at our last neighborhood association meeting in Fields Corner two weeks ago, the community officer reported similar incidents happening in Dorchester. He said that there were several similar incidents of that nature in our area, and it looks like it has become a bit of a thing.

My recollection of the details is fuzzy, but I remember him mentioning that the mail was lifted by using some flexible rod or a chain with something super sticky at the end, and dropping into mailboxes. If I remember it right, they arrested a guy who was spotted doing it and had on him some checks that had been mailed to utility companies etc.

"Fishing" in mailboxes....

There has been a few instances where someone will take a simply "fishing" rod type device with some sticky paper on the end and fish into the mail boxes and bring up mail. If you do this at the beginning of the month, you might get a nice rent check out of there.