Amnesty period for stolen USPS equipment expires

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Postal Inspectors today announced that, effective November 26th, they will resume their efforts to recover missing and stolen Mail Transport Equipment (MTE) and also seek prosecution against offenders. The resumption of criminal enforcement comes after the Postal Service offered a two-week amnesty period, encouraging anyone who was in possession of Postal Service equipment to return it – no questions asked.

“Theft of postal equipment is a federal crime. Replacing missing equipment last year cost the Postal Service $50 million — money that it can ill afford,” said Guy Cottrell, Chief Postal Inspector. Previous efforts to recover MTE and prosecute offenders have been successful.

In 2008, Postal Inspectors launched the Equipment Recovery Project, an effort to return MTE that leaked out of the Postal Service network. Since then, Postal Inspectors have recovered almost 200,000 pieces of MTE, including pallets, trays and tubs, worth more than $4 million. The items were reclaimed from businesses ranging from a New England fish market to California recycling firms; from pallet bounty hunters to major mailers. Criminal prosecution for theft or misuse of postal property, a federal crime that carries a penalty of up to 3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000, was also initiated in several cases. Prosecution is pending in a current investigation where Postal Inspectors found approximately 7,500 pallets, valued at over $200,000, at a recycling company,

Individuals who are aware of the misuse of postal equipment are encouraged to contact the Postal Inspection Service at (877.876.2455) or the mail transport equipment recovery hotline (866.330.3404) and email address (hqmte@usps.gov).

  • cpttuna

    Take the first couple of people you catch and give them the max sentence. publisize it and you would be amazed at the response. also, reward money for call ins would help. I see the stuff everywhere. You have to make it worth people”s while to report it. Also, if you find(let’s say) a tub in an art dept office in a major university, I think it would be appropriate to arrest the president of the university. I do not know if the tub is still there.

  • Frank

    I also see the stuff everywhere. On the other hand inspectors have better things to do. Just raise the postage a penny more to make up for the loss. That would make up for the pens in lobby’s too. 7500 pallets is a bit much. They should be prosecuted. Arresting the president of a university for 1 tub is a bigger waste. Postal Police have more important things to do. Maybe that’s why they can’t catch the creep who stole my Harry Potter dvd. Wasting time on this sort of crap.