Melanie Elbers said in the first instance, someone who should have known better enclosed $500 cash inside a birthday card and mailed the money and card. There was nothing of value in the cards in the second and third incidences, but each time, the ends of the envelopes were slit open so the contents could easily be poured out.
Fortunately, she said, there was no money or other valuables in the second and third envelopes. She added it was only card envelopes that appeared to be slit open by something sharp.
Elbers said she can see the mailbox from her house and no one except the letter carrier approached the mailbox on any occasion. She is convinced the tampering was the work of a postal worker and would like to know if others in the 37312 ZIP code have complained.
The Office of Inspector General handles mail-tampering cases. Release of information involving open investigations requires filing a Freedom of Information Act request form.
In separate but related questions involving local postal service, David Walton, Corporate Communications spokesperson for the Kentuckiana and Tennessee districts, said no changes in service are planned for either the post office at Broad Street or Keith Street.
The U.S. Postal Service will be transitioning to a new delivery schedule the week of Aug. 5. Packages will be delivered Monday through Saturday, and mail Monday through Friday. The change is supposed to save the USPS about $2 billion annually.
Growth in package delivery represents a 14 percent revenue increase since 2010. Projections of continued package growth led to the decision to maintain package delivery six days a week.
Mail delivery to street addresses will be Monday through Friday. Mail addressed to post office boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays, and post offices currently open Saturdays will remain open.
“There are no changes planned for the Downtown Station at 155 Broad St. N.W., or the Main Post Office at 1981 Keith St. N.W. at this time,” Walton said.
Keith Street hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Hours at the Broad Street location are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 to 4:15 p.m. It is closed on Saturdays.
However, one service that has been lost in Cleveland is the ability to buy a passport.
Walton said the Cleveland Post Office was removed from the passport acceptance program because there are no longer trained personnel at the Main Post Office.
He said nearby facilities that offer passport services include post offices in: Ooltewah, Cohutta, Georgetown, Benton, Hixson, Rossville, Chattanooga Main Post Office, Eastgate Post Office, Chattanooga Public Library and Downtown Chattanooga Post Office.
“At this time, we don’t see passport services being reinstated at this office because of current staffing,” Walton said.