Wednesday, December 27, 2006
GRANGER - Timing is everything, and whoever burglarized the Granger Post Office on Dec. 15 got in and got out quickly during a 15-minute period.
Those 15 minutes were between 5:45 and 6 p.m.-a window of time between when Postmaster Michelle Lee closed up the post office for the day and the time a postal service driver arrived to pick up the mail and that day's bank deposit.
That's according to France Bega, a postal inspector in the service's Spokane regional office.
Bega said cash and checks received during post office business on Dec. 15 were stolen by the burglar or burglars, who broke in through a rear door.
Due to the possibility of identity theft, Bega said he wants to find out which postal customers wrote a check to the Granger Post Office on Dec. 15.
"It's unfortunate, but we don't know how many people were victimized," Bega says. "Everything from that day's business could potentially be a loss."
Same goes for that day's mail.
"We're only assuming they stole mail," Bega says. "We're not certain. There was a lot of mail still in there. But for all we know they might have taken a few packages."
Bega believes the culprits behind the burglary were likely juvenile "wanna be" gang members.
The U.S. Postal Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the burglary.
To report information on the burglary, or to notify the postal service if you wrote a check to the Granger Post Office on Dec. 15, call U.S. Postal inspectors at 509-624-1501, the Granger Police Department at 509-854-1886 or the Yakima County Sheriff's office at (509) 574-2500.
As the postal service seeks information on the burglars, officials are also taking a second look at the Granger postal facility.
Bega said inspectors found "some deficiencies" with security at the Granger Post Office. "We did a security survey after the burglary and we found some areas that could be upgraded."
Bega declined to list the security glitches with the Granger post office, but noted officials "are working on them."