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Chasing Justice Through Civic Indifference

April 27, 2002

On April 16, I saw a young man attempt to steal mail out of a locked mailbox in my townhouse complex. I reported this to the local postman, who refused to get involved but did tell me to call the post office. When I called the post office I was told to call the postal inspector's office. When I tried that, I was given the name of the inspector for the particular area--who was not in at 2:30 p.m. I left a detailed voicemail message with a return phone number.

Guess what? No one called me back. I was a percipient witness to a federal criminal act; I spoke directly with the young man who had his entire arm in the locked mailbox; I wrote down the young man's license number and was ready, willing and able to pursue the matter, but there was no one who would accept responsibility for receiving the report. I don't think anyone would argue that the fabric of our society has degenerated over the years. Is it any wonder that this degeneration has occurred when a citizen attempts to report a federal offense to the authorities and no one listens?

Sandra Lew

Woodland Hills

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