FERGUSON, Mo. – Jonathan Tremaine Thomas was stunned when he lifted the lid to the dumpster behind his business on North Florissant Road in Ferguson on Monday night. He saw a pile of undelivered mail. Some of the communications involved the IRS and Social Security Administration.
“It was a real shock,” he said.
Thomas is the owner of Soul Coffee Roasters. He’s renovating the Corner Coffee House where the dumpster is located. He wonders if mail has been dumped there before or at other dumpsters. His surprise continued when he contacted the US Postal Service to report the discovery.
“I was told just to take the mail and put it in an outgoing mailbox,” he said.
Thomas said several Ferguson residents have expressed concerns over missing mail.
“We need to see accountability for what’s happened here and we also need to see justice,” he said.
Agents with the US Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General are investigating. A spokesperson for the agency stated agents recovered the mail and it will be delivered.
“The theft and delay of US Mail is a federal crime and the USPS OIG takes allegations of delayed, discarded, lost, or stolen mail seriously and investigates those allegations vigorously,” read an email response from an agency spokesperson.
If USPS customers feel they might be a victim of mail theft or find discarded mail, they can contact the agency’s hotline at www.uspsoig.gov/hotline or 1-888-USPS-OIG. The USPS OIG investigates mail delivery concerns involving Postal Service employees.
Some Ferguson residents report mail has been missing in the past. Jennifer Stephens said her credit card was recently declined. She failed to notice it expired because she never received an updated card in the mail.
“There needs to be accountability because it’s a serious offense to throw away mail,” Stephens said.
Thomas hopes there will be a deep dive into why this happened.
“Whatever gaps need to be fixed in the postal service, they need to be confronted and they need to be addressed and fixed,” he said.