Thousands of Marysville mailboxes jeopardized due to stolen postal service master key

Aug 10, 2023, 8:08 PM | Updated: 9:38 pm

marysville mail theft...

Delivery trucks arrive at a loading dock at the United States Postal Service sorting and processing facility on Nov. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Thousands of residents in Marysville could be at risk of having their mail stolen as thieves have stolen a USPS master key, according to the city.

According to Bridgette Larsen, communication specialist and public information officer for the City of Marysville, this affects blue USPS drop boxes and group mailboxes like those found in apartment complexes in the 98270 and 98271 ZIP codes.

“It could be up to tens of thousands of people being affected, depending on the scope of the crime, but we have 73,000 people in Marysville approximately,” Larsen told KIRO Newsradio.

According to the city, the thieves could be using a 3D printer to replicate the keys, making this a “very alarming situation.” Inspectors are warning residents to check their mail as frequently as possible.

This break-in follows a similar string of mail thefts that occurred earlier this year in South Seattle. Authorities said they caught the suspect but that he may have had accomplices.

More on mail theft: Alleged thief caught, suspected of stealing Columbia City mail

KIRO Newsradio asked the city how the thieves reportedly obtained the master key and if any help from inside the postal service was suspected. Larsen said she has seen no evidence of the latter.

“Based on what I’ve been told and what they’ve been looking into, there’s been no reference of that or any evidence of that,” Larsen said. “It could simply be that they’re getting access to the locks and reverse engineering them somehow to make copies of the keys.”

Gee Scott, co-host of “The Gee & Ursula Show,” recommended residents sign up for USPS Informed Delivery — a free service that sends Daily Digest emails previewing any mail and packages scheduled to arrive soon and images of incoming letter-sized mail. The service also has package tracking data and notifications through text and/or email alerts about the status of a package and its delivery details.

“Meanwhile, somebody needs to tighten it up. If you’re telling me this has happened before, what measures are they putting in place to make sure that these master keys to these places are kept secure?” asked Angela Poe Russell, who was filling in as co-host on “Gee & Ursula.”

More on mail disruptions in Washington: Residents fed up as delivery issues continue on Vashon Island

“If they have any information about who could potentially be behind this, or if they have any information about these crimes if it’s happened to them, make sure they report that to the Marysville Police Department,” Larsen added.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Gee and Ursula Show

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Thousands of Marysville mailboxes jeopardized due to stolen postal service master key