The United States Postal Service announced on Monday they would be suspending services in part of Santa Monica due to a number of attacks on mail carriers.
Until further notice, mail delivery and other services in and around the 1300 block of 14th Street will be halted, necessitating residents to go and physically pick up and deliver mail from a post office 7 blocks away. In total, around 200 families will be affected.
USPS has suspended mail service in parts of Santa Monica, CA because the mailmen kept getting assaulted and attacked. They say it’s not safe for people to be delivering mail. unreal. California is a hellhole. pic.twitter.com/q97kYYTT1s
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) April 11, 2022
For the last several weeks a recent resident in the area has attacked three different mail carriers. In the most recent case, witnesses to the attack saw that the assailant used a golf club to knock over a cart, allowing mail to go all over the street. Due to inaction from the city to stop these attacks or confront the individual going after the carriers, the USPS took the drastic action to cut off service.
“Multiple carriers have been subjected to assaults and threats of assault from an individual who has not been located or approved,” the USPS said in a letter to residents on April 7th. “The safety of our employees and of the mail they deliver to you is our highest concern. Until we can ensure the safety of both, delivery services will remain suspended.”
While the USPS has cited multiple cases of attacks, the Santa Monica Police Department has said that only one incident, a January 19th attack where a resident assaulted a mail carrier with a broomstick.
“The resident lives in the area and is known to our officers and also to the mail carrier he attacked,” SMPD Lt. Erika Aklufi said in a statement. “The mail carrier declined prosecution for the incident. If there were other incidents of USPS mail carriers being attacked, we were unable to locate additional reports. This is an unusual, but necessary step to protect our employees.”
High crime rates in Santa Monica
According to recent studies, Santa Monica, despite it’s immense wealth and reputation as a beachside city, has become one of the most unsafe cities in California in recent years due to increased property and violent crime, with property crime in particular causing the city to be ranked alongside cities such as Compton, Oakland, and San Bernardino.
However, the USPS cases are unusual because local residents say they know exactly who it is.
“A woman who lives here took in some crazy guy and he’s been here doing this,” said Jason, a resident in Santa Monica who asked that his last name be used, to the Globe on Monday. “You know, this sucks too because we know who it is but nothing is being done. Now we have to have a lot of people drive all the way there just to pick up mail.”
“A lot of people are trying to brush off the crime here or by saying that, with tourists included, it’s not so bad. But, with incidents like this and people stealing things from lawns and garages, it is bad. We want these people in jail, but nothing is being done. And a lot of politicians wonder why people really want tough on crime laws to come back. For us, it’s the post office stopping deliveries because a crazy guy keeps attacking carriers and no one is doing anything about it. Other cities and neighborhoods and towns have their own version.”
As of Monday, no arrests have been although the US Postal Inspection Service is currently investigating the incidents with the SMPD also looking into the matter. It is currently unknown when delivery service there is to resume.