Co-op City mailbox lock problems

Nina Pineda with the 7 on your side report.
Seven On Your Side
March 28, 2014 3:14:20 PM PDT
Most of us pick up our mail on a daily basis without giving it a second thought, just grabbing it from our mailbox.

But for dozens of people in the Bronx, it got much more complicated.

"It just opens like that?" 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda asked.

"Yeah," said Rita Davies, Co-op City resident.

"So you haven't gotten your mail in two months?" Pineda asked,

"No," Davies said.

Rita Davies relies on her Social Security check and rent vouchers, but the broken bank of mailboxes has left her empty-handed.

Her post office is out of her range, nearly a mile away. So every other day she has to have an aide help her get on the Access-a-Ride bus, drive to the post office, and wait in line to get her mail.

"They should be doing a better job because they are inconveniencing people!" Davies said.

Rita says she and more than 40 of her Co-op City neighbors were given a range of excuses about the broken mailbox locks.

"Shortage of locks, they had to find locksmith to put it in, they don't have the proper lock," said Steve Mitchell, a US Postal Service Customer.

Steven Mitchell works full time as a college recruiter and can usually only get to the post office, on the weekends. 7 On Your Side went with him on a Tuesday, so how long did it take him to get in and get out?

"I mean half an hour to get your mail Steven," Pineda said.

"Unbelievable, but this is what we go through," Mitchell said.

Residents say they all complained but the locks remained broken.

"What did they tell you?" Pineda asked.

"They're working on it," Mitchell said.

7 On Your Side had some questions for the local Post Master.

A supervisor said she was aware of the problem.

But, just a few hours after 7 On Your Side's visit there was progress.

"Very shocked, you guys did a tremendous job," Mitchell said.

All of the locks were fixed and mail delivered.

"I came home that afternoon, the boxes were fixed on both sides," Mitchell said.

"I could never believe it was a joy," Davies said.

And it's so much easier to get their letters.

"I want to thank Channel 7 and 7 On Your Side," Mitchell said.

"Very much thankful, congratulations," Davies said.

"Congrats to you, you can get you mail Ms. Davies!" Pineda said.

The USPS said it's regrets any inconvenience and is working with building management to make sure the right maintenance and security measures keep the locks from getting damaged again.

In a written statement USPS said, "First, we want to thank Nina Pineda with ABC/7 On Your Side for this opportunity to ensure our communities are well served."