U.S. Postal Service investigating after mail found in Florence County swamp

TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WBTW) - The United States Postal Service and Florence County Sheriff's Office are investigating after hundreds of pieces of mail were found in a swamp in Timmonsville.

Florence Postmaster Rando Strickland spent Monday morning loading bags of mail dumped near Garner Mills Pond Road.

"Little more than I thought when I heard about it this morning," said Strickland.

Hundreds of letters, bills and even packages were found wet and torn open.

"It's taking a little longer to pick it up," mentioned Strickland.

Strickland says the letters and packages recovered in the swamp are from eight to nine different routes in Florence to Darlington.

Kathryn Siemen lives in the city of Florence. The news took her by surprise.

"Well it makes me feel quite insecure to tell you the truth and possibly quite violated," Siemen said.

That is because she still waits for a birthday card her niece sent her back in October.

"She later told me that there was a check for $50 in it, so I have no idea who has that card or the check for me," Siemen added.

While the clean-up continues so does the start of a joint investigation.

"The postal inspectors will be here tomorrow to take a look at it and see if they can determine who may be the culprit. We will deliver the mail that we have and figure out where it goes," Strickland explained.

The Postal Service is aware of recently discarded mail and a joint mail theft investigation by Postal Inspectors and Florence County Sheriff's Office deputies is underway. Meanwhile, a majority of the mail has already been recovered and efforts are underway to retrieve the remaining items from the water. The Postal Service will attempt to clean the mail and deliver it as soon as possible. We regret any inconvenience this will cause our valued customers. Customers who are expecting a specific item or have concerns may contact the Postal Service at 800-275-8777.

"Mail theft is a federal crime and the Postal Inspection Service is committed to investigating these matters. Anyone with information, whether they are a witness or may overhear people talking about the crime, is encouraged to report the information to the Postal Inspection Service or Florence County Sheriff's Office." Steve Stebbins, Postal Inspector – Team Leader.


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