An investigation has been launched after surveillance video showed bags of USPS mail being dumped in the parking lot of a salon in Glendale.
The video, captured on a security camera outside the salon, shows a Budget rented truck backing up into the parking lot before unloading bags of unopened U.S. Postal Services mail onto the ground, one by one, before taking off. A salon employee came across the bags, which contained dozens of unopened letters and packages, the next morning and alerted the police.
'Something is Going On'
According to the co-owner of the salon, Lilia Serobian, the incident took place at around 5.30 a.m. on Thursday. "Of course it's suspicious," said Serobian. "You start thinking, 'OK, something is going on,' because no one has access to all those boxes and packages."
"It's not something that would be an accident dropping one or two boxes. It was a pile of huge, different sized unopened boxes. Maybe there's something behind it which I don't know what, but hopefully they will find out, and prevent this from happening," she added.
Glendale police received another report of bags of USPS mail being found in an alley half a mile away from the salon. However, it is not yet known whether the same truck was involved in both incidents.
USPS Launches Investigation
The Glendale Police Department has now handed over the investigation to the USPS because it is a federal crime.Investigators will try to determine which post office the mail originated from, and also which route, the mail came from, in addition to the identity of the individual who rented the truck.
The incidents come as USPS has been mired in controversy over recent changes that have led to widespread mail delays across the country. A recent Los Angeles Times investigation noted employee accounts of rotten food and dead chicks in packages at a South LA postal facility due to the slowdown in processing amid cutbacks to staffing and mail-sorting machines across the country.
Last week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced action on the matter, saying the state is seeking to immediately reverse the Postal Service's new policies. He said the sweeping changes "have slowed mail operations across the country," including the delivery of critical medications and paychecks.
Trump Trying to Sabotage the Election?
Trump has been a vocal critic of mail-in voting, which, in the middle of a pandemic, allows the nation the safest means of casting their votes in November.
Over the past few months Trump has falsely claimed that the widespread mail-in voting will lead to voter fraud and on Thursday, he admitted to starving the USPS of funds to so "they can't have universal mail-in voting." This has sparked speculation that the President is intentionally trying to hamper the Democrats' election preparation efforts and help his re-election bid.
Last month, the Trump administration reshuffled USPS leadership and consolidated authority under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump ally and a major Republican donor who has seemed to actively work to intentionally slow down the service's mail-delivering capabilities since his appointment in May.
A slower mail service could have a big impact this fall because an unprecedented number of Americans are expected to vote by mail and many states require a ballot to arrive at an election office by election day, regardless of when it was put in the mail, in order to be counted.