I’m in shock. Total disbelief. I just got off the phone with my aunt in Washington State, and the box I shipped last Monday finally arrived. Only it wasn’t the actual box I shipped, it was a different box that had my original label taped to it, and the contents were stripped bare. Except for one jar of homemade Apple Butter and the extra Christmas card that contained my daughter’s picture on a 5×7 2009 calendar. The other items, that my aunt was so looking forward to, were completely gone. Poof. I shipped everything in a Large Flat Rate Priority Mail box – you know, the ones you get from the post office. The weight of the box was 11 pounds, 12 ounces. The box she received was a non-descript, small brown box, that weighed less than 2 pounds. Even the packaging material was different – the jar of Apple Butter was re-wrapped in bubble wrap, I had originally had it wrapped in tissue paper and new packing paper.

I have to admit, a red flag went up when I got an email notification on Friday that delivery had been ‘attempted’ and notice had been left. I had been on the phone with my aunt earlier that day and knew she had no plans to be somewhere, because there was just way too much snow for her comfort level, so I called her to find out. She gave her mail carrier the benefit of the doubt and figured that the berm that was covered with snow between their mail box and their house was probably unnavigable for the mail carrier to bring the box to the front porch. So sometime between the attempted delivery at 11:05 a.m. Friday, and when my uncle stopped by the post office to pick up the box today, a switch was made. Unless it was made earlier enroute, but all the boxes I shipped (all Priority Mail) to my relatives in Washington State were routed through the same main hub before being distributed to their local post offices, and so far everyone else has received their boxes exactly as I shipped them. Complete. In the original Priority Mail boxes. No tampering.

My aunt was cracking me up, though, because in the box was a plastic baggie that has a dark hair attached to it – the plastic baggie was not in the box I shipped, and I have blonde hair, so it’s not mine…but her mail carrier does have dark hair. She’s ready to call CSI and have them fingerprint the jar, the bubble wrap and the baggie and see if there are any ‘matches’ to the postal workers at her local post office. I seriously doubt anything will come of it, but it just makes you take pause that nothing is safe anymore. Maybe I shouldn’t have written ‘Glass’ and ‘Fragile’ so nicely all over the box – maybe that turned on some lightbulb over someone’s head and they thought there was something valuable in the box. Valuable in a monetary sense, not really. At least I wasn’t sending any precious jewels or anything, just my own homemade Savannah*Haven Apple Wine, Savannah*Haven Concord Wine, and Savannah*Haven Licor del Cafe (aka Kahlua). Yep, someone stole the liquor, then re-boxed the Apple Butter…should I be insulted they didn’t want to keep my homemade Apple Butter? Hmmmm…no, I’m betting they figured they have something complete the shipping on that tracking number…my uncle feels bad that he didn’t notice the obvious difference in the actual weight of the box he picked up vs. the weight stated on the label – then again, how could he, he’s old (yeah, I said it Uncky! LOL!) and that information is really small print…

So has anyone else run into a problem this particular Christmas season with their packages getting stolen or tampered with? This is truly a first for me…and hopefully the last. You can bet anything I send to my aunt and uncle will not be going by way of the post office in the future. Unless they find the exact culprit, which is probably not going to happen any time soon.


  1. Oh, that is interesting that the books that were disappearing were of a similar theme… I like post office boxes for the same reason you opened one – that and for privacy in this mad, mad world.

    I sent the link to my aunt to file a Mail Theft claim, and she and my uncle are marching to their local post office with the box (and suspicious packaging…LOL!) to complain there as well. It is possible there’s a ‘pattern’ going on, because my aunt said some of her mail has gone ‘missing’ in the past…I don’t know if she’s reported it or complained about it, but now she’s all fired up and wants to see some results… I’ll post a follow-up when I find out anything more… πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. I have never heard of this. Someone actually repackaging and sending some of the stuff on. I can’t believe someone who would steal would take the time to do that! You should report it and maybe even call the news station. This is a better (in a sad way of course) story that some I have seen…

    Sorry this happened to you!!!

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  3. Definitely file a claim. Did you insure the package by any chance?
    The mail system is so bad here in Allen, TX that I drop all my bills off directly at the P.O. and don’t leave them in my mail box at the curb waiting for the mail man to pick up. I also take all packages that I’m mailing directly to the main post office. I used to use postal centers that are closer, but I had several instances of “lost” packages and mail, so quit using them.

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  4. It is bazaar, isn’t it? I can’t figure that one out – who steals everything else, then puts the remaining stuff in a different box and finishes it’s shipping? Great idea about calling the news station – I know here locally they have people that will launch investigations, you know, an ‘on your side’ kinda deal – I just emailed my aunt to suggest it to her, because I think she’d have to do it from her end, locally… I’ll keep you posted on this saga! πŸ™

  5. I unfortunately didn’t insure it…though I don’t honestly think it would have made a difference, because it had a computer label on it (the Click’n’Ship) label, so if I had insured it, the information would have been in fine print on the label itself, and the perpetrator removed the entire label and simply placed it on a new box. The label even specifies ‘Large Flat Rate Priority’, which is the box I put it in, but the person kept that box, and put the apple butter and card in a totally separate box, carefully cutting my original label off the original box. Either that person is a genius, or a total moron…I haven’t decided which, yet!

    I never send bills or anything like that from our mail box out front, I drop it directly at the post office. I use ‘Carrier Pickup’ and have the mail carrier come and pick up – and on this particular shipment, it was one of eight boxes that went out on the same day – I helped our mail carrier load them in her vehicle to be nice… All the boxes looked exactly the same, right down to my hand-written ‘Glass’ and ‘Fragile’ written on every side and top of the boxes. The main USPS ‘hub’ out in Washington State re-routed all the boxes to the respective post offices, and this is the only one out of 5 that went out there that was tampered with. So that tells me it’s either my aunt’s local post office, or more specifically, her mail carrier.

    I’m completely flabbergasted – to say the least! I’ll definitely have to post a follow-up to this one and relay everything that ultimately transpires…I’m hoping it’s with a result of catching a thief from that post office who may have been elusive up to this point… πŸ˜‰

  6. The whole this is just unbelievable – the fact that the person was so meticulous about putting part of the box’s contents they were stealing into another box so the shipment could ‘complete’ via the tracking number…I think you’re right – I think, especially with the economy the way it is, it’s going to be happening more and more…so sad.

    LOL! I am encouraging my aunt to go all CSI with the evidence – she was asking if I have a passport, and if so, then my fingerprints would be on file to eliminate those…she has a friend who worked in the Postal industry for 20 years that she’s going to ask advice from, as well as very good law enforcement friends, too. If anyone can get to the bottom of this thing, it’ll be my aunt! LOL!! I’ll keep you posted… 😎

  7. LOL! Thank you for the laugh, Kristin! Yeah, send it to CSI, STAT!!!! πŸ˜‰ And yes, she did at least get the apple butter…and while I do put Apple Brandy in it, I doubt my aunt will be getting the buzz she was so looking forward to…heh, heh!! 😎

  8. It’s just amazing how low people can be. I hope your Aunt can get some help to figure out who would do this. If it’s her mail carrier, your Aunt may not be the only one with a omplaint and it could be a pattern. If more than one person on the carrier’s route is having this problem I think that would be a red flag.

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  9. You should file a claim. At the very least it will notify the post office to be on the look out.

    I’m quite sure if they had tasted your apple butter, they would have kept that too πŸ˜‰

    Recent blog post: He Blogs, She Blogs

  10. I agree – you know, it takes all kinds to make up the world, but those ‘all kinds’ seem to be getting worse! My aunt is definitely taking the box and all the details I’ve been able to supply from my end to her post office tomorrow first thing, so she can have a chat with the Postmaster and see if there are any other complaints about her mail carrier, as well as file a complaint. Hopefully she’ll be able to get to the bottom of the whole fiasco!

  11. Absolutely will be filing a claim, my aunt is fired up that she didn’t get her holiday wine and kahlua from me! πŸ˜‰

    LOL! Maybe if the thief had tasted the apple butter, they might have kept it…or maybe if I had put on the label there was alcohol in that, too, they might have kept it and just sent an empty box or a box with the just the card in it… πŸ˜› Thanks, Jim, for making me laugh! πŸ˜€

  12. Hey Stacy – me again. I was telling my husband this story last night and he brought up the fact that you can ship wine to certain states. For instance wine can’t be shipped to TN. Now, this may have nothing to do with your situation but just curious if there is any kind of regulation to where you were shipping and if that were the case it seems you would have been notified…

    Recent blog post: Meet My Friends Monday – Edition 41/2

  13. Hiya ‘me-again’ Toni! πŸ˜› Sorry, I couldn’t resist! Actually, your hubby has a valid point…and luckily, since Washington State is a big wino state…er, um, big on wine…it is allowed to ship there. I had thought of that, too, because of doing my brother’s Wine Shop website for him (which was located in WA) and having to research all those rules and limitations.

    This does not appear to be a governmental type ‘confiscation’ – if it were, I assume that I would have been notified (like you mentioned), and they simply would have kept the entire box of contents, not placing the non-offending apple butter and card in a separate box, and using the exact label they carefully removed from the original box to make it look like it was the ‘original’ shipment.

    So far, of the 5 boxes of same/similar contents that I shipped on the same day to various family and friends in WA State, only two of then have been delivered without tampering… two are currently AWOL, and one is my aunt’s unfortunate incident. The other two arrived safe and sound (maybe they can ‘share’ with the others? 😎 )

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