Boxes of mail abandoned on a street in Philadelphia’s Hunting Park section came from a private delivery van that was stolen Tuesday, officials said Thursday.
Police were looking for two men shown on surveillance video unloading the mail Wednesday afternoon from the rear of a dark SUV on North Sixth Street near Wingohocking and stacking the boxes like trash at the curb.
Alex Sylvester of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said the boxes came from a van that was stolen Tuesday and was operated by a driver under contract with businesses to pick up their mail at the post office and deliver it to them.
Sylvester said the men apparently discovered the postal boxes after stealing the van and removed the mail from the SUV to get rid of it.
“It was a crime of opportunity and they saw what they didn’t expect in the back of the van when they took it,” Sylvester said.
6ABC, which first reported the unusual dumping incident, broadcast a surveillance video of the two men unloading the postal boxes.
The dumped mail was a subject of speculation in the neighborhood Thursday morning.
“That’s crazy,” said Khaliyl Wright, 32, as he worked on his truck. “I really haven’t had any problems with the mail. This block is pretty quiet and most people around here have lived here for quite some time. No issues mail-wise, but breaking into cars is a different story.”
Tashana Sisco, 30, said she has peace of mind about her mail because she takes advantage of the Informed Delivery service provided by the Postal Service, which e-mails scanned photographs of each piece of mail she should receive daily.
“I think everybody should get it,” she said. “I think the post office has not done a good job informing people about it.”
The dumping of mail is likely a sign of the times, she said. “It doesn’t surprise me,” she said. “In today’s society, people take advantage of situations.”
Sylvester said anyone with information should call the 24-hour Postal Inspection Service tip line at 877-876-2455.