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Marlan Warren is a free-lance publicist who promotes entertainers and book authors (Roadmap Communications and Book Publicity by Marlan, respectively). She is also a film maker (Roadmap Productions), Reiki Master/Teacher (Light Hands Reiki Studio and Institute), Screenwriter, Novelist, PhotoJournalist, Tai Chi practitioner. 

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My life, your life, our lives inside and outside of Los Angeles and its angels.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mail Thieves Running Loose in Los Feliz (L.A.) & LAPD won't handle it? WTF?!

To view the ABC7 Story about Hollywood Mail Theft Yesterday:

The madness continues. Thieves are running loose around L.A. scooping up mail and packages using skeleton postal keys that open doors and banks of mailboxes in apartment buildings. They robbed our building's bank of mailboxes at 3:45 a.m. March 22. We have it on security tape. Now the manager tells me that he tried to give that tape to our police and make a Complaint, and guess what? They said it's not their jurisdiction. That it's a federal matter. Let USPS handle. Now I see online that ABC7 Eyewitness News, Melissa MacBride ran a story last night about the same thing happening in Hollywood, next door to us. Their manager got it on tape, ABC broadcast it and on top of that, THEIR LAPD in Hollywood says they are all over it. WTF?

Ever since this happened, I've been in touch with the Los Feliz Post Office Supervisor, Greg Anderson. We had communications last year when I had an altercation with our mail carrier and then had no mail for a week (coincidence?). A few days after we were robbed, I was walking on our street and found a postal box full of opened mail (the contents still in the envelopes) wedged into a couple low tree branches. I only looked at the top envelopes but the mail appeared to be for other streets in the Los Feliz area.

I carried the box back to my building, wrote a note explaining where I found it (in front of 1717 1/2 Winona Boulevard) with my name and contact info. I left the note on top of the mail in the box, and gave it to the manager, who said he'd give it to our mail carrier.

Yesterday, March 28, I was walking home on Winona and found a half-opened flat box. It appeared to have the contents still in it. A receipt was half sticking out of it with the intended recipient's name and contact info. I contacted Mr. Anderson and he said he would personally pick it up and take it to the recipient. I also contacted the recipient (who lives on an adjacent street) by email. Mr. Anderson kindly came by and took it personally. However, when I asked him if he knew about the box of mail I found, he said no. He thought maybe he had not come in to work on that day (might have been last Friday).

So I had to pause this blog entry to talk with our manager who just stopped by to discuss all this. He said that he gave the postal box of opened mail that I gave him to Rudy, our mail carrier, and Rudy said he'd give it to his supervisors, naming two people who were not Mr. Anderson (maybe because it's his day off?).

I took some time to do a little research this evening, and last August 33 California postal workers were indicted for mail fraud and theft.

Anderson told me that there's a "black market" online that sells postal master key copies and there's nothing that anyone can do to stop it, or very little, I guess.

I also stumbled upon a USPS free option that anyone with the right zip code can use, called "Informed Delivery." It's supposed to keep me informed of what mail was scanned for my address and apartment number, by sending me the scanned (I guess pdf?) copies of the front of the envelope or package. The scanning happens anyway, but using Informed Delivery will keep you informed of what you missed, if there is a theft.

None of this sits too well with me. I hate the idea of renting a private mailbox (for one thing, how can I trust THEM?), but there's this super nice older Armenian woman who runs a little shop in Los Feliz, and she charges $20/mo. with a mandatory 6 month advance payment to start. I don't even know if I'll be still in L.A. in 6 mos. or even in this neighborhood, but I am considering going with her service. Oh, and packages? They are $2.00 if she has to hold them for you.

Well, to paraphrase Lily Tomlin's Telephone Operator:

"We may be the only Post Office in town, but we SCREW everybody!"

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