AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, introduced the Upholding a Secure Postal Systems (USPS) Act. The act would require the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report to Congress on nationwide mail theft trends and postal property to the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, according to a news release from Cruz’s press office.
According to the news release, this report, required each year for five years, would also include details on measures the postal service has taken to combat theft.
“It is time we get to the root of the mail thefts plaguing Texas and the United States,” said Cruz in the news release. “Our bill would mandate a report on nationwide mail trends. This report will leave the USPS no choice but to address the widespread theft of mail and create a plan to combat this problem. I am proud to introduce this legislation alongside Rep. Weber to build on the important work we have already done over the past year to prevent mail theft.”
The United States Postal Service has upped security measures as mail theft continues to spike across the country.
Such measures include fortifying blue collection boxes, new locks, more secure verification for address changes and new authority to intercept packages with counterfeit postage.
“Postal theft is a pernicious problem nationwide, and my district has fallen victim to this frustrating crime,” Weber said in reference to the USPS Act in the news release. “For far too long, criminals have seen the USPS as soft targets to steal from everyday Americans. It is imperative that the American public can rely on this age-old institution to pay bills and receive medication and other critical daily items. Our bill will require the USPS to submit reports to Congress on nationwide trends of postal theft and steps they are taking to prevent communities from being plagued by this crime. We will continue pressuring the USPS to address concerns, especially in Texas’ Fourteenth district, and provide transparency to my constituents and all Americans.”
According to USPS, there were 38,500 mail theft incidents in FY22. In the first half of FY23, there have already been more than 25,000.
Mail theft is on the rise in Austin – so much so that Council Member Mackenzie Kelly has requested the City Manager’s Office to look into ways to deter the crime.
“By Federal law, the jurisdiction of PPOs is limited to USPS real property, and as such, the primary role of PPOs is to provide physical security for USPS property at their assigned work locations,” said the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), which investigates USPS-related crime, in a statement.