Authorities investigating reported mailbox theft in Minneapolis

Jocelyn Frank was doing rehab exercises in her sun room in Minneapolis on Sunday afternoon when she saw two men get out of a van, detach a blue mail collection box from the sidewalk near West 24th Street and South Girard Avenue and toss it into a van. 

Base of a stolen mailbox
Residents in southwest Minneapolis reported Sunday that they saw two men cut a mailbox loose from this base and toss it into a van. Police and postal service officials are investigating.
Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Frank

“It is completely shocking to see two people jump out of a car, saw off a mailbox and drive away,” Frank said. “It’s just a crazy sight to see.” 

Minneapolis police and the United States Postal Service both received reports that the mailbox was stolen, but aren’t releasing any more information about what may have happened or why. United States Postal Service Inspector Rachel Williams said the theft of the box is under investigation. 

News of the mailbox’s removal spread quickly through online neighborhood sites. While any possible motive for the incident remains unclear, the first thing that came to mind for Frank when she saw the men removing the mailbox was election security. There's a controversy happening nationally about the postmaster general appointee’s donations to Republican candidates and subsequent cuts to the agency in the run-up to the November elections.

Frank said it’s important that people have faith in their mail-in ballots. The primary election in Minnesota is Tuesday. 

“It doesn’t make me lose faith in the postal system,” Frank said, “but it certainly is something that should be investigated because of course everyone’s vote should count.”  

Frank said she also filed a complaint with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, but Minnesota Secretary of State spokesperson Risikat Adesaogun said the agency refers any complaints to local authorities. She said that people concerned about their mail-in votes can check the ballot status online to see if it’s been received. 

Anyone who received a ballot but hasn’t yet sent it in is still eligible to vote in person on election day, Adesaogun said.

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