Mail collection box ripped from ground, stolen in Oakland

Mail theft isn't that uncommon, but thieves took it up a notch by stealing a collection box from an intersection in Oakland.

Liz Chapman said she stepped outside her home at the corner of Chabot Road and Chabot Crest on Monday and noticed that the USPS mailbox that sits on the street was missing.

That is when she decided to check her home security camera. 

“At 1 a.m. a truck pulls up and you see the lights of the truck and you can only see the lights. “It pulls up… there’s a little noise,” Chapman describes. 

A loose metal bolt and disturbed concrete are all that remain where the “blue box” once stood.

While at the scene, a letter carrier who said he normally collects the parcels from the now missing box, said that he was informed of the crime on Monday morning. 

“I don’t know why they stole the box,” he told me. 

The crime is troubling for some in this neighborhood because potentially sensitive information may be inside the collection box. 

“I know it’s around tax time,” said Ben Hudnut. “[It] makes me want to go to the post office instead of using one of these.”

We are told that it’s not the first time that the mail collection box had gone missing from his location. 

“A few years ago they put a new one there and I think I had heard that it was stolen,” said resident Gary Graftsow who told us that the prior week was the last time he used the mail collection box. 

Chapman, who captured the incident of surveillance video, told us a similar incident happened in 2014.
“This is actually the second time that this mailbox has been stolen.”

Jeff Fitch with the postal inspector’s office urges anyone who used the collection box recently to contact the post office and make a report. 

The Oakland branch of the U.S. Post Office Inspector Service will be in charge of the investigation. 
Mail theft is a felony that is punishable by up to five-years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The postal service has a standing $10,000 reward for information lead to the capture of the thief. 

Anyone with information that leads to the arrest,  or those concerned about mail placed in the collection box should call 877-876-2455.