MAYPEARL — The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering a $5,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect or suspects broke into the Maypearl Post Office sometime between Saturday evening and Monday morning.

“We are working very closely with the Maypearl Police Department to determine who might have perpetrated this crime. It appears that someone entered the post office between 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 and 6 a.m. on Dec. 12. We don’t know if it is a single subject or multiple subjects,” U.S. Postal Inspector Amanda McMurrey said. “Right now we understand that there was several customers' mail that was stolen. The postmaster has been provided with a letter to circulate to all of the potential victims. Because we don’t on what any given day, it has been sent to everyone. We will be relying on customers to report to the Postal Inspection Service on anything they are missing.”

Maypearl Police Chief Boyd Norton said a suspect or suspects involved in the offense gained entry to the Post Office by prying open a door in the back of the building using a crowbar or a pry bar. He added that damage to the doors on the building is estimated around $700—800.

According to a letter from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which was posted on the "Voice of Maypearl" Facebook page, postal inspectors are advising residents that if they were expecting but did not receive a check, credit card, financial document, medication or other items to contact the issuing office for instructions on obtaining a replacement.

“The USPIS will expand all efforts to investigate this mater,” the letter stated. “We regret to inform you of this incident and assure we are constantly striving to prevent problems of this nature by aggressively investigating those criminals who illegally use or traffic in stolen mail.”

 The letter also stated that the case number for this incident is 2344081-burg and is being handled by Inspector Paul Ecker. Residents are advised to contact the USPIS at 877-876-2455 if they have experienced any problems relating to mail theft.

According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service's annual fiscal year report, the Postal Service processed 155.4 billion letters and parcels and delivered them to more than 154 million addresses in every state, city, and town in the country during the fiscal year 2015.

“During FY 2015, MTAP analysts received almost 97,000 customer complaints regarding attempts to steal mail. These complaints came from USPS call centers, online forums, and the 17 Inspection Service divisions,” the report stated. “Analysts referred 2,936 investigative leads directly to the divisions. These leads included actionable information such as video, an eyewitness account, or the description or tag number of a vehicle used to steal mail.”

 The annual report stated that federal law forbids the tampering of the mail, as only the person to whom a mailpiece is addressed can open it. Postal Inspectors have investigative jurisdiction in cases where mail delivery is interrupted by theft, riffling, obstruction, or destruction.

 “If anyone has any information we would love to hear from them. We take this very seriously. Burglary of a Post Office is punishable by up to five years in federal prison. Also if they stole mail during the time of that burglary each piece of mail that they stole could be charged up to five years of mail stolen,” McMurrey said. “We take these investigations very seriously, and we would be very interested in hearing from anyone that has any information regarding this crime.”

People with information about this incident can contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455 and then select option two. All information will be kept strictly confidential. Anyone with information can also contact the Ellis County Crime Stoppers organization at 972-937-PAYS. Callers can remain anonymous.

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