Mail theft, service issues have plagued Georgia. Congress wants answers

‘The people of Georgia need answers,’ one U.S. House member said of mail delivery problems.

Stolen mail. Unexpected closures of post offices. “Inexplicable” and prolonged suspensions of service.

Amid one of the busiest times for mailing cards, letters and packages, more than a dozen Georgia members of Congress signed a letter to the U.S. Postmaster General raising these and other concerns with mail service.

“Specifically, we have heard from our constituents about missing and potentially stolen mail, misdelivered mail, closures of post offices during standard business hours, and inexplicable suspensions of mail service for extended periods,” U.S. Rep. Mike Collins, R-Jackson, wrote Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Dec. 13.

A bipartisan group of 13 Georgia U.S. House members joined the letter. Congressman Andrew Clyde, R-Athens, was the only member of the state’s House delegation who did not sign it.

Stolen mail and service interruptions have vexed residents and businesses across Georgia, including in Dunwoody, where postal inspectors and local police have investigated numerous complaints. Postal data also show on-time delivery rates for first class mail have also fallen.

Collins asked for information by Jan. 8 on complaints about postal service in Georgia, suspensions of service, mail theft and other issues.

U.S. Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.) speaks in the Senate chambers on Day 22 of the legislative session at the Georgia State Capitol on Wednesday, February 22, 2023. (Natrice Miller/

Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC

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Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC

“These concerns are particularly pertinent during the holiday season as Americans send letters and gifts to family and friends,” the letter says. “Failing to deliver those items to our constituents will produce a not-so-merry Christmas.”

It adds that many Americans rely on mail delivery for medications and other crucial products.

The Postal Service said it received the letter from Collins and will reply to his office.

According to the most recent quarterly data available from the U.S. Postal Service, on-time delivery of first class mail has declined over the last year. The biggest decline was for first class mail with a three-to-five-day standard, with 83.4% of such mail arriving on time in the quarter ended Sept. 30, down from 88.6% a year earlier.

On-time mail delivery performance is even lower in Georgia, where 80.7% of first class mail with a three-to-five-day standard was delivered on time in the quarter.

Congresswoman Nikema Williams (D-GA) talks with a constituent outside of Congress on Dec. 6, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Nathan Posner for The AJC)

Credit: Nathan Posner for The AJC

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Credit: Nathan Posner for The AJC

U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta, said in a written statement that her office has heard from constituents “with reports of going weeks without mail service.”

“The people of Georgia need answers from Postmaster Louis DeJoy: When can he guarantee the USPS will begin operating at full capacity in our state?” Williams added.

On Wednesday morning, the post office location on Ashford Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody was unstaffed during normal business hours, upsetting some customers who arrived to drop off packages and letters.

Dan Erling, CEO of professional services business Accountants One in Dunwoody, said he has seen growing issues with the postal service, and it’s having a negative impact on his business.

Erling said checks are taking weeks to arrive, and he believes some have been stolen, because three fraudulent checks have shown up at banks, forcing him to close one account and open others. He has also started going to a post office in Alpharetta instead of the one closest to him in Dunwoody.

“It’s not a whole lot better, but it’s better,” he said.

Mail thefts

Last November, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that nearly $500,000 in checks had been stolen from a Dunwoody post office since the previous summer. U.S. Postal Service authorities have been investigating the crimes, with Dunwoody police also involved.

Most of the checks were stolen from blue mailboxes outside the post office on Dunwoody Village Parkway, and some were stolen from the mail drop inside the post office, according to the police. Checks had been washed, and can then be forged and cashed, they said.

(L-R) Nate and Jade Bell leave the U.S. Post Office at Perimeter Village in Atlanta on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, after finding no employees inside. (Arvin Temkar /


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A U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokesperson recently said postal inspectors continue to work with Dunwoody police on the matter.

Mail carriers across the country have been robbed of keys to blue mailboxes, according to news reports and Frank Albergo, national president of the Postal Police Officers Association.

Two men were indicted this month by federal grand juries in separate, unrelated cases of armed robbery involving U.S. postal workers in metro Atlanta. Both were accused of robbing postal workers earlier this year, including one who authorities said pointed a gun at a letter carrier in March and demanded their mailbox key.

USPS with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in May 2023 announced an initiative called Project Safe Delivery to combat attacks against letter carriers and mail theft. In October they said 10,000 high-security blue collection boxes had been installed in high-risk areas to make it more difficult for criminals to access the contents.

Mail delays

Erling said mail delays that have persisted since the COVID-19 pandemic are also causing problems for his business. A client mailed a check more than a month ago, but it had not arrived, so “we had to go down to his office and pick up the check,” Erling said.

The U.S. Post Office on Dunwoody Village Parkway in Dunwoody is shown on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

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Credit: Jason Getz /

“What are you supposed to do when the mail takes over a month?” he said. “How do you run a business?”

Erling said it has a particularly damaging effect on a small business like his, that relies on regular cash flow to pay employees. He has started turning to alternatives, including electronic funds transfers and paying for a courier service to pick up checks.

“I’m having to figure out how to go around a service that should be there for me, provided in part by the government,” Erling said.

Tips to protect mail

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service encourages customers to take the following steps to protect their mail:

  • Don’t let incoming or outgoing mail sit in your mailbox.
  • Deposit outgoing mail through secure manners including inside your local Post Office or at your place of business or by handing it to a letter carrier.
  • Sign up for Informed Delivery and get daily digest emails that preview your mail and packages scheduled to arrive soon.
  • Keep an eye out for your letter carrier. If you see something that looks suspicious, or you see someone following your carrier, call 911.

Customers are encouraged to report stolen mail as soon as possible by submitting an online complaint to the Postal Inspection Service at or calling 877-876-2455 and filing a report with your local police department.

Source: U.S. Postal Inspection Service