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delirium's avatar

Question about tampered with mail?

Asked by delirium (13639 points ) February 2nd, 2009

My uncle sent us a coin. It was in a little paper pouch with the words “coin inside”. That was in an envelope.

When we got it, there was no coin inside, there was a small slit on one edge of the envelope and the ‘coin inside’ thing that would have been taped shut for sure was open.

Is there anything in particular we should do?

Ps. No one in the house collects coins. Dad’s brother just said that it was ‘cool’ and sent it. He does things like that.

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18 Answers

Vinifera7's avatar

You can’t sent bulky objects like coins in first class letter mail. It requires extra postage.

However, from your description it does sound like tampering.

fireside's avatar

It was AstroChuck!

AstroChuck's avatar

Not me. I don’t take anything less than paper money.
Call your P.O. You might not be the only one who has had this problem with their mail.

delirium's avatar

We e-mailed. Would calling be preferable?

Jeruba's avatar

My son’s girlfriend left her purse in the seat of his car when they went to a party in Oakland. When they came back, the window was smashed and the purse was gone. Sure, the thieves were wrong to take it, but it was also foolish to advertise.

Nimis's avatar

@Jeruba True. But the little paper pouch was in an envelope.
I guess he could have padded the obvious outline of a coin though?

marinelife's avatar

The postal service has its own force of postal inspectors. I think it would be good to report it. I would check their web site to see the preferred way to do that. It’s unlikely you will get it back though.

AstroChuck's avatar

I doubt if the postal inspectors would handle this, but I would go in and talk to the station manager (or postmaster if not in a large city) and show him/her the envelope. Make it clear just how upset you are. Perhaps there’s been a history of this in that office.
I hate hearing stories such as this. For all the ribbing the USPS gets, it’s the best postal system in the world. In this country when you send something in the mail you expect it to arrive at its destination without it being molested or pilfered.

Jeruba's avatar

If I ever have to send a coin, I put it between pieces of cardboard. The best way is probably to use a mailer insert as thick as the coin with a cutout for the coin so there is no discernible edge. @AstroChuck, would you agree? It could also be in a little box or a padded envelope that would disguise it.

Surely we do expect things to pass through our mail system intact, and for the most part they do. I have seen the USPS go to great trouble to deliver weird stuff that was poorly wrapped and to patch up things that got mangled. But anything that announces its potential value and has to pass through a lot of hands may prove too tempting to someone.

Netflix placed in the outgoing slot at work get stolen before they even make it into the postal system. Some people have an attitude of entitlement toward anything that looks available.

delirium's avatar

The paper pouch totally hid the silhouette.

Jeruba's avatar

@delirium, wouldn’t that be hard to judge without having seen it? What happens if you put another coin inside and put it back in the envelope? If you palpate it, does it feel not only hard but circular? Also, do the words ‘coin inside” show through the envelope?

delirium's avatar

The paper pouch was actually a small bandage pouch. It was thoroughly padded. Its essentially a paper pouch, but he likes to recycle. One of those gauze ones. It was in there and taped up.

You’d have to SERIOUSLY fondle it to figure out what it was, either that or look through the envelope.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

So many people handle the mail it would be nearly impossible to track down who stole it.. if it’s valuable, insure it .. talk to the post office for more

Jack79's avatar

Where did he send it from? I know you’re not allowed to send money via post, so maybe that’s why. I have a friend in the US who actually collects coins, and I managed to go around and find all the coins of the old currencies in the countries that now have the Euro. These coins are worthless now, and they are certainly not “money” anymore, but even though I used a courier to send the package, it never got there. I went to the company to complain, and apparently it had closed down. Another company that was handling those packages just told me that they “simply don’t accept packages with money in them”.

fireside's avatar

But why deliver the empty envelope if it was just about not being able to send money?

AstroChuck's avatar

@Jack79- In the US there is no law against sending currency through the mail.

fireside's avatar

Hey, I think this is the perfect place to find that rare and often wondered about event:
The serious AstroChuck post

delirium's avatar

Worst part is, we don’t even know what the coin was. Dad doesn’t want to tell his brother what happened and is avoiding it, as he’ll probably be really disheartened.

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