KPRC 2 Investigates update: Huge mail theft issue in Houston area sparks new investigation team
Mail theft has become so rampant in Houston. The United States Postal Inspection Service has created a Houston mail theft jump team to investigate and try to stop the theft of mail and robberies of mail carriers. Our KPRC 2 Investigates team first exposed this problem back in May and has new numbers on the troubling crime.
Houston man sentenced to life in prison; Police say he confessed to shooting USPS mail carrier, setting her body on fire
A 45-year-old Houston man has been sentenced to life in prison after admitting to murdering a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier in 2013, Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery announced Monday.
KPRC 2 Investigates cluster mailbox mess: No mail delivery for months in one neighborhood
Cluster mailboxes break through normal wear and tear or they're vandalized and need repair. In the past, in a lot of communities, the postal service repaired or replaced them. But now USPS is passing that burden on to customers, but they're not being very clear about it. KPRC 2 Investigates is getting answers.
FBI, Postal inspector looking into suspicious mail sent to Houston Jewelry
The United States Postal Inspection Service, the Houston Police Department and the Houston Fire Department assisted the FBI in Houston in a review of suspicious mail sent to Houston Jewelry, including two letters hazmat crews inspected on Tuesday.
SHIPPING DEADLINES: Send your gifts by these dates to make sure they arrive for the holidays
[MORE: These 3 apps will help you find the best holiday shopping deals, experts say | Doing a little online shopping? If you’re shipping gifts you want to arrive in time for Christmas, here are some recommended send-by dates for expected delivery by Dec. 25:USPS (excluding Alaska and Hawaii)Domestic Mail Class/Product Send-by Date USPS Retail Ground Service Dec. 15 First-Class Mail Service Dec. 18 Priority Mail Service Dec. 19 Priority Mail Express Service Dec. 23Click here for USPS holiday shipping dates for Alaska and Hawaii, military bases and overseas addresses. UPSShipping Option Send-by Date UPS Ground Dec. 15 UPS 3 Day Select Dec. 21 UPS 2nd Day Air Dec. 22 UPS Next Day Air Dec. 23Click here for more details on UPS holiday shipping. FedEx (U.S. to U.S.)Shipping Option Send-by Date FedEx SmartPost (certain exceptions apply) Dec. 9 FedEx Home Delivery Dec. 15 FedEx Ground Dec. 15 FedEx Express Saver Dec. 21 FedEx 3 Day Freight Dec. 21 FedEx 2 Day Dec. 22 FedEx 2 Day A.M. Dec. 22 FedEx 2 Day Freight Dec. 22 FedEx 1 Day Freight Dec. 23 FedEx Extra Hours Dec. 23 FedEx Standard Overnight Dec. 23 FedEx Priority Overnight Dec. 23 FedEx First Overnight Dec. 23 FedEx SameDay Dec. 25 FedEx SameDay City Priority Dec. 25 FedEx SameDay City Direct Dec. 25Click here to see last-day-to-ship dates if you’re planning to send gifts to Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico or other destinations. AmazonAmazon has not released its 2020 holiday shipping calendar, but last year, the company recommended buyers send products no later than Dec. 22 or Dec. 23 for a Dec. 25 arrival.
Shipping deadlines: This is when you need to send your packages for arrival by Christmas
With the coronavirus pandemic altering lots of holiday plans this year, shippers are preparing for a significant increase in the number of packages that will need to be delivered. Here are the shipping deadlines you need to know if you want your packages to arrive by Dec. 25. Postal ServiceFor the lower 48 states:Dec. 15 -- Retail Ground ServiceDec. 18 -- First-Class Mail ServiceDec. 19 -- Priority Mail ServiceDec. 23 -- Priority Mail Express ServiceFor Alaska:Dec. 18 -- First-Class Mail ServiceDec. 19 -- Priority Mail ServiceDec. 21 -- Priority Mail Express ServiceFor Hawaii:Dec. 15 -- First-Class Mail ServiceDec. 15 -- Priority Mail ServiceDec. 21 -- Priority Mail Express ServiceClick here for international shipping deadlines for USPS. FedExDec. 9 -- FedEx Smart PostDec. 15 -- FedEx Home Delivery, FedEx GroundDec. 21 -- FedEx Express Saver, FedEx 3Day FreightDec. 22 -- FedEx 2Day, FedEx 2Day A.M., FedEx 2Day FreightDec. 23 -- FedEx 1Day Freight, FedEx Extra Hours, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx First OvernightDec. 25 -- FedEx SameDay, FedEx SameDay City Priority, FedEx SameDay City DirectClick here for international shipping deadlines for FedEx. UPSDec. 15 -- UPS GroundDec. 21 -- UPS 3 Day SelectDec. 22 -- UPS 2nd Day AirDec. 23 -- UPS Next Day AirDec. 25 -- UPS is closed, but UPS Express Critical is availableShipments to certain destinations may require an earlier ship date.
Houston man accused of stealing several mail keys from postal workers in string of armed robberies
HOUSTON – A 20-year-old Houston man is facing federal charges after being accused of stealing several mail keys from postal workers in a string of armed robberies, according to U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick. Xzavier Ivar Shephard was indicted on Nov. 5 after being linked to at least four armed robberies of postal letter carriers since June, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors accuse Shephard approaching the letter carriers while they were working, threatening them with a gun and demanding them to give him their arrow key, which can be used to open banks of letterboxes such as ones found in apartment complexes. Prosecutors said Shephard would then drive away in a black Buick vehicle with paper plates, which was registered in Shephard’s name. If found guilty, Shephard could face up to 25 years in federal prison as well as a mandatory minimum of seven years that must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed.
5 things for Houstonians to know for Thursday, Nov. 5
Here are things to know for Thursday, Nov. 5:1. Trump also pledged to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop votes from being counted. His statements early Wednesday morning followed a tweet he sent repeating a false claim that Democrats are stealing the election. Democrats' efforts to create blue wave in Texas wipeoutDemocrats had hoped to flip Texas from red to blue on election night. Fort Bend County elects first African American sheriff since reconstruction eraA historic win in Fort Bend County for Sheriff-elect Eric Fagan.
USPS ordered to ‘sweep’ Houston facility for mail-in ballots
HOUSTON – A federal judge in Washington D.C. ordered USPS to “sweep” the Houston processing facility on Wednesday for any undelivered mail-in ballots after the agency failed to meet a court-ordered deadline on Election Day. To “sweep” means to “examine every place in the plant to make sure no ballots have been left behind,” USPS said in court documents. Judge Sullivan ordered USPS to provide an update on compliance with the order at 10 a.m. on Thursday. In Houston, 1,347 mail-in ballots were unaccounted for or not scanned. In fact, last Friday, USPS ordered its offices to identify mail-in ballots and deliver them directly to election offices before they could be scanned at processing facilities.
Judge orders USPS to search centers for ballots
WASHINGTON – A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered U.S. Postal Service inspectors to sweep more than two dozen mail processing facilities for lingering mail-in ballots and for those ballots to be sent out immediately. The order, which includes centers in central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, south Florida, parts of Wisconsin and Texas, including Houston, comes after national delivery delays leading up to the election and concerns the agency wouldn’t be able to deliver ballots on time. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who has presided over several lawsuits aimed at USPS election mail delays, gave the Postal Service until 3 p.m. to “ensure that no ballots have been held up” in regions that have been slow to process mail ballots. The Postal Service’s ability to handle the surge of mail-in ballots became a concern after its new leader, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major GOP donor, implemented a series of policy changes that delayed mail nationwide this summer.
12 last-minute Halloween costume ideas that are perfect for 2020
(Photo by APEX/MEGA/GC Images) (2020 MEGA)Who: The other star of Netflix’s irresistible “Tiger King." What you’ll need: Your hair pulled back in a bun, glasses, a judge’s robe and a fancy white collar. What you’ll need: A banana costume and a loaf of bread to carry around. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)Who: A video conferencing program that became very popular once the pandemic started in early 2020. What you’ll need: A piece of cardboard cut with a whole in the middle to look like a screen.
Why the winners still might not be known long after Election Day is over
But that fiasco could be nothing compared to this year’s election -- and not just regarding who is elected president. There will be more mail-in ballots submitted than ever. The United States Postal Service is struggling with financial issues, which could delay the mailing of ballots throughout the country, according to CNBC. In August, the USPS sent letters to 46 states and Washington, D.C. warning that some main-in ballots might not arrive in time to be counted by Election Day, according to the Washington Post. Mail-in ballots take longer to count.
Inspectors on the hunt for thief targeting northwest Harris County residents' mail
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – No one has a good feeling after a string of mail thefts in the northwest Harris County neighborhoods of Canyon Lakes at Stonegate, Towne Lake, and Stone Gate near Cypress. Someone has been using a device and breaking into the neighborhoods' mailboxes for the past several weeks. Murtaza Surtarwala snapped a picture a couple of weeks ago driving his son to school. “As soon as I saw that I had a feeling that somebody maybe had stolen something from the mailbox,” said Surtarwala. “We try to go out of our way to make sure that we send tracking numbers,” said Sutarwala.
Postal Service agrees to reverse service changes that slowed down the mail
Postal Service agreed Wednesday to reverse changes that slowed mail service nationwide, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana Gov. The agreement also requires the Postal Service to prioritize election mail. Postal Service did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The agreement comes after a federal judge temporarily blocked the controversial Postal Service changes on Sept. 17, calling the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election. Postal Service.
Lost mail? What we found when we put the Houston area mail service to the test
HOUSTON – With concerns about mail delivery issues ahead of the election, our KPRC Investigates team put the United States Postal Service in Houston to the test. Mail service put to the testTo find out how common problems are we set up our own test. We sent letters to Southwest Houston, Kingwood, Missouri City, Tomball, West Houston, North Houston, The Woodlands, Cypress, Galveston, Liberty County, and Montgomery County. While no one at the postal service would talk to us about delivery issues, we did some digging and found out some interesting information about mail delivery timing. If you are having issues with your mail delivery, you should report it to the United States Postal Service.
Postal worker indicted on federal charges in dumping of Troy Nehls' campaign fliers
HOUSTON – A postal worker has been indicted on federal charges after a video surfaced in June showing a Postal Service worker dumping campaign fliers for Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls' into a dumpster. Officials said Lovely Eliabe, 24, of Richmond, turned herself in to federal authorities after being indicted on Sept. 15 on a charge of destroying U.S. mail. Postal Service when the crime was committed on June 26, prosecutors said. READ: Postal worker caught on camera dumping Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls' campaign fliers, he saysThe business owner said he showed Nehls the video footage of a postal worker throwing an object in the dumpster behind a building near FM 359. The owner said when he went to go retrieve what was thrown away, he found Nehls’ campaign fliers.
US judge blocks Postal Service changes that slowed mail
Postal Service facility in McLean, Va. A U.S. judge on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide. Scott Applewhite, File)SEATTLE – A U.S. judge on Thursday blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide, calling them “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election. Postal Service. They also sought to force the Postal Service to treat election mail as first class mail. “There's been a lot of confusion in the briefing and in the press about what the Postal Service has done,” Borson said.
Texas congressional leaders seek legislation to protect USPS
HOUSTON The U.S. Postmaster General announced Tuesday he will halt operational changes at the United States Postal Service until after the 2020 election. Some Texas congressional members called for legislation to prevent the postmaster from doing another about-face. Embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced Tuesday that hell wait until after the November election to make operational changes at the USPS. DeJoy said retail hours wont change, mail processing equipment and collection boxes will stay where they are and overtime for employees will be restored. Two other Democratic congressional members also held press conferences Tuesday where they called the operational changes on the USPS an attack orchestrated by the nations highest office.
Worried about whether your vote will count? Here’s how to submit a ballot without using the mail
Restrictions and types of early voting vary by state, but 40 states and the District of Columbia do offer some form of early voting. Turning in ballots at a local election office or polling locationJust about every state allows voters to bring ballots in person to turn them in at local election offices. If you’re not close to a local election office to turn in a ballot, some states allow ballots to be turned in to alternate locations or the polling locations. New Hampshire and Vermont allow voters to return ballots to a polling place. Drop boxesThese are special containers that allow voters to drop off absentee or mail-in ballots in sealed envelopes.
House Dems summon postal leaders to hearing on mail delays
FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2020, file photo Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, left, is escorted to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)BEDMINSTER, N.J. The Democratic-run House on Sunday demanded that leaders of the U.S. Postal Service testify at an emergency oversight hearing Aug. 24 on mail delays as concerns grow that the Trump White House is trying to undermine the agency during the coronavirus pandemic while states expand mail-in voting options for the November presidential election. The House Oversight and Reform Committee said it wants to hear from new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and from the chair of the Postal Service board of governors, Robert Duncan. On Saturday, Trump tried to massage his message, saying he supports increasing money for the Postal Service.
Investigation underway after multiple mail thefts from River Oaks post office mailbox
Postal Service customers concerned in the River Oaks area. Janet Meyer says in the past few months she’s had several pieces of mail disappear after dropping them off at the mailbox outside the post office in the 2800 block of Timmons Lane. “This is a post office and it should be secure. The USPIS is aware of mail theft incidents in the vicinity of 2802 Timmons Lane and is actively investigating the matter. “This post office has got some problems, but this is not right.
On this 50th anniversary for the USPS, mail a letter to a friend
Fifty years ago, the former Post Office Department changed over and became the United States Postal Service. Postal Service, as we know it now, has only been around since 1970? Energized by the Civil Rights Movement, postal workers in New York went on strike, and the movement eventually swelled across the country. Previously, letters were taken to a Post Office, where employees would note the postage due (or paid) in the upper right corner. Postal Service stands financially, perhaps we do have to consider, what if the mail goes away someday?
Postal worker caught on camera dumping Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls’ campaign fliers, he says
HOUSTON – Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls says an unidentified postal worker threw away a bundle of his campaign mailers fliers Friday. Nehls, who is up against fellow Republican Kathaleen Wall in the July primary runoff election, says he learned of the incident from a business owner who called him. The business owner showed Nehls the video footage in which a postal worker can be seen throwing an object in the dumpster behind a building near FM 359. The owner said when he went to go retrieve what was thrown away, he found Nehls’ reelection campaign fliers. We have the federal government, the postal service, throwing away political mailers.
Houston had the most dog attacks of postal workers in the country in 2019
1 city in the country when it comes to the most dog attacks reported by mail carriers, the U.S. The Bayou City recorded 85 dog attacks in 2019 while Dallas, ranked No. Texas ranks second overall with a total of 491 dog attacks statewide. Nationwide, dog attacks fell to 5,280 in 2019, which is 200 lower than 2018 according to the release. “We are confident we can keep moving the trends of attacks downward, and ramping up overall awareness for everyone is the best way to do that.”USPS will be highlighting postal worker safety next week as part of National Dog Biting Awareness Week, which is June 14-20.
An 11-year-old wrote a thank-you note to her mailman. Postal workers are sending her letters of appreciation
So, the fifth-grader decided to ramp up her letter writing. Emerson, who already wrote an average five to 10 letters per week, opted to drop an extra note to her own mailman. In return, she's gotten dozens of letters, a sign of how important human connection is during the pandemic, said her dad, who shared the story in a Twitter thread. Now, Emerson is writing up to 25 letters each week to respond to her new postal pen pals. "Writing letters is just very helpful to feel like I can still be around people."
Free USPS program will alert you when your stimulus check is coming
Postal Service offers a free service that can help. If you get a picture of an IRS envelope, you know it is likely your stimulus check. If their Informed Delivery notification shows you only received junk mail, there’s no need to go out and pick it up. Once you sign up, the USPS says it typically takes about three business days to start receiving those notification emails. Not every address is eligible for Informed Delivery.
USPS employee tests positive for coronavirus in Washington
A United States Postal Service employee has tested positive for the coronavirus in Washington, according to K5 News. Bringing the number of presumed positives cases to eight in the state as of March 1, K5 News reports. According to USPS, the latest case is a woman who works at a package soring facility in Federal Way, Washington. USPS said the woman would have some contact with other employees in the work environment, but no contact with the packages that are sent directly to customers. The woman is recovering at home while the USPS facility is closed for cleaning, K5 News reports.
Postal worker paid for storage to hide mail he couldn’t ‘make time’ to deliver, officials say
Postal Service worker from Virginia admitted to officials that he was renting a storage unit to hide thousands of pieces of mail he could not “make time” to deliver, federal authorities said. Jason Delacruz told agents with the Office of Inspector General that he felt “pressured” to deliver the mail but couldn’t “make time” to finish his route. The mailman came under investigation by agents after a complaint stated Delacruz was seen unloading his USPS truck at a storage unit. Court documents reveal that Delacruz began to hide mail in late 2018. Delacruz said he rented the $49-per-month storage unit “for the sole purpose of storing mail he could not deliver.”According to agents, Delacruz had intentions to deliver the mail but couldn’t catch up and was not able to do so.
USPS packages, letters found strewn across freeway in Liberty County
HOUSTON – Dozens of packages and letters were dumped on the side of the freeway Monday night in Liberty County. Postal metal crates lying in the middle of the freeway. Witnesses say the postal driver did not stop when the crates fell off. Postal inspectors were called, and then deputies put the mail back into the containers and called a wrecker to haul it away. We can confirm that a contract driver did experience an incident where some mail fell from a trailer, but all mail was quickly retrieved, secured and taken to the N. Houston Processing and Distribution facility for processing.”
Want your package to arrive by Christmas 2019? A guide to all your shipping deadlines
Postal ServiceDec. 14: USPS Retail Ground shipments ✅Dec. 18: Alaska to mainland First-Class Mail ✅Dec. 19: Hawaii to mainland First-Class Mail and Priority Mail, also Alaska Priority Mail ✅*There’s still time for dates below! Dec. 20: First-Class Mail ServiceDec. 21: Priority Mail; Also deadline for Alaska and Hawaii to the mainland through Priority Mail ExpressDec. 23: Priority Mail ExpressTrying to send something overseas or to a member of the military? Click or tap here to check out the guide we followed from USPS, and to learn more about your mailing specifics and guidelines. FedExDec. 9: SmartPost ✅Dec. 16: Ground and home delivery ✅Dec. 19: Express Saver ✅*There’s still time for the dates below! As for Amazon deadlines, you’re likely looking at Dec. 22 or Dec. 23, depending on if you’re a Prime member, where you live and what you’re ordering.
We’re Clutch City: USPS recognizes Houston, Harris County official says
HOUSTON – Does the United States Postal Service really recognize Houston as Clutch City? “No joke, the US Postal Service officially recognizes 77002, zip code of the Toyota Center, as Clutch City, TX," Hidalgo wrote. “Luckily, our office shares that zip.”The Toyota Center is home to the Houston Rockets as we all know. We also searched zip code 77027, the zip code for the team’s previous home The Summit, now Lakewood Church, and Clutch City did not show up. It seems that by the team relocating to the Toyota Center the new zip code took on the Clutch City name.
Here’s what to know this evening about Tropical Depression Imelda
HOUSTON – As Imelda continues to impact the Houston area, here are the biggest headlines you need to know about:1. Here's more to know:Third Imelda-related death confirmed in BeaumontThree people were killed after Tropical Storm Imelda hit Southeast Texas Thursday, bringing torrential rainfall across the Houston area, Winnie and Beaumont. 📷There are several dozen locations where high water is reportedTropical Depression Imelda has brought flooding rains to parts of the Houston region. The water receding in a lot of locations, but we still have high water," Harris County meteorologist Jeff Lindner said. How you can help out those who are in needThousands in the greater Houston area were impacted by Tropical Depression Imelda.