$1 Million Worth of stolen USPS equipment recovered in California

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives recently recovered more than $1 million in stolen plastic products — including USPS pallets, trays and tubs — from a site in Industry, CA.

Officials’ 5-month-long investigation recovered about $164,500 worth of the Postal Service’s distinctive orange and black pallets. To date, law officials have made no arrests, but the investigation is ongoing.

In some cases, criminals are selling the illegally obtained plastic equipment to recyclers who grind up the items and sell the pellets to plastics manufacturers. USPS has initiatives to combat the problem, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Equipment Recovery Project. Postal Inspectors have a number of investigations under way in several parts of the country involving plastic recyclers, pallet bounty hunters and mailers.

Each year, the Postal Service spends millions of dollars replacing lost or stolen Mail Transport Equipment (MTE). Employees can help return these costly assets. If you see postal equipment that is obviously outside the postal network, call the MTE hotline at 866-330-3404 to pass along information about the location, type and quantities of equipment. A Postal Service MTE group will take action on every hotline lead.

In addition to calling the hotline, employees can send information related to equipment recovery to hqmte@usps.gov. Customers can return large quantities of MTE by completing the MTE Return Request Form available on the Facility Access Shipment Tracking website.

source: USPS News Link – June 10, 2011.