Mail theft with master key impacting Reno residents

Master key theft impacting mail deliveries
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 8:08 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - If you live in the 89523 zip code, you may want to keep an eye on your mailbox as many Reno residents have made reports of mail theft using a master key stolen from USPS.

This is primarily impacting people who use cluster mailboxes, which are becoming more and more common in neighborhoods and apartment complexes. Lori Walker says that on August 14 she discovered her community mailbox was compromised.

“They’re just telling us to just put holds on your mail for 30 days. That’s not an answer, that’s not enough,” said Walker.

Walker says that after nearly a month of herself and her neighbors asking for help, the situation has gone nowhere, leaving her frustrated. She explains that USPS has yet to give them any updates, let alone a response to multiple reports filed. All while, she claims, people in her neighborhood have had bank account, credit cards, and investment information stolen.

“We just want the post office to do something. We know they haven’t done anything yet, we have not been contacted by an inspector. Every time anyone in our whole area goes there they tell us it’s under inspection,” Walker says.

USPS has said that they can’t do this job alone and have provided a list of ways people can protect their mail:

  • Don’t let incoming or outgoing mail sit in your mailbox. You can significantly reduce the chance of being victimized by simply removing your mail from your mailbox every day.
  • Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery, especially if you’re expecting checks, credit cards, or other negotiable items. If you won’t be home when the items are expected, ask a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail.
  • Just as you wouldn’t leave the door to your home unlocked while you’re away, you shouldn’t let mail accumulate in your mailbox. Don’t leave your mail unattended for extended periods. Have your Post Office hold your mail while you’re away. You can do this online at
  • When expecting a package delivery, track the shipment at
  • When expecting a package delivery, track the shipment at You can sign up for email and text alerts at
  • If you don’t receive a check or other valuable mail you’re expecting, contact the issuing agency.
  • If you change your address, immediately notify your Post Office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.
  • Hand outgoing mail to your letter carrier, or mail it at the Post Office, an official blue USPS collection box on the street, or a secure receptacle at your place of business.
  • Never send cash or coins in the mail. Use checks or money orders. Ask your bank for “secure” checks that are more difficult to alter.
  • If you have concerns about security in your neighborhood, consider installing a lockable mailbox or obtaining PO Box service from your local Post Office.
  • Consider starting a neighborhood watch program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with trusted neighbors, you can watch each other’s mailboxes and residences.

If you see a mail thief at work, call police immediately, then report it to Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455 (say “Theft”).

If you believe your mail was stolen, report it immediately by submitting an online complaint at or calling 877-876-2455.