Repeated mail theft in the south Seattle neighborhood, as well as a stolen master key used to open collection boxes, cluster box units and outdoor parcel lockers, prompted the USPS to take this drastic action while "improvements to the affected equipment were made," said a mail service spokesman.
"All mail was delivered to the impacted residents," this person added. "We appreciate the patience and understanding of the community as we work to preserve the safety and sanctity of the mail."
The USPS put up a sign in the Columbia neighborhood just prior to the mail service halt notifying area residents that "Due to the rise in mail theft and vandalism we will be holding all mail for your address. We do not have an exact date of when all master locks will be replaced."
Many Columbia residents apparently missed these signs and had no idea that their mail was going to be halted. Instead, they found out about the issue from neighbors or through Facebook.