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Daily Dose: The USPS asks for its stuff back

Ever taken a pen from the post office? Well, how about tape guns, letter trays or large pallets?

According to the Fed page over at The Washington Post, the United States Postal Service is asking customers to return any stolen USPS property in an effort to minimize losses for the fiscal year. The program provides amnesty for those with stolen goods, and when items are returned to USPS, there will be no questions asked.

Whether the property was taken inadvertently or knowingly, customers can drop off items at any post office from now until November 26.

USPS spent nearly $50 million last year replacing equipment that was stolen or inadvertently taken and never returned by customers, officials said Wednesday.

“This is a serious issue,” said David Williams, vice president of USPS network operations. “We are in a financial crisis and simply cannot afford this type of unnecessary expense. The equipment is federal property, and we want it back.”

USPS’s projected losses are expected to be about $10 billion for fiscal year 2011. (The actual number will be announced this week.)

I think this is a creative way for the USPS to recoup some of its losses, but I don’t think the final tally will be anything significant. The nickle-and-dime aspect of stolen equipment adds up to be something significant, though.

Do you think this will be effective? Are you interested to see what sort of items are returned to the USPS? Ever had anything unusual stolen from your organization?


“Daily Dose of the Washington Post” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with The Washington Post. If you see great a story in the Post and want to ask a question around it, please send it to [email protected].

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Jack Shipley

Wow. I am not thinking tape guns, but rather stuff like the cool plastic boxes with built-in handles that people may “forget” to bring back. Sorta like milk crates disappearing from stores and appearing in college dorm rooms.

Anyway, how do you smuggle a tape gun out of a post office? (Maybe I don’t want to know : )