Suburban grandmother says USPS is giving her grandchildren’s runaway after Valentine’s Day gifts stolen on way to California

sharon thomas box

Suburban grandmother says USPS is giving her grandchildren’s runaway after Valentine’s Day gifts stolen on way to California


Chicago (CBS) — A suburban grandmother sent a Valentine’s Day care package to her family in California — didn’t you know the gifts weren’t there when the package reached her young grandchildren.

Now, Granny got a connection from the post office – she asked us to get involved.

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Sharon Thomas told CBS 2’s Tara Molina that her grandchildren’s packages were late and tampered with — their gifts were stolen.

Thomas closely tracks the boxes as they travel through the USPS facility. It turned out to take a considerable amount of time before reaching its destination — first from Illinois to Iowa, and then to three different facilities in California.

She said it was cleared and repackaged at some point along the way.

“This is not the condition of the box I sent,” she said, showing us a photo of the box with its packing tape and other seals tampered with.

sharon thomas box

(Source: Sharon Thomas)

Thomas is now asking the U.S. Postal Service for answers. She said the package was full of toys, storybooks and cards — but by the time the box arrived in California and her grandchildren opened it, those were gone, replaced by commercial-grade furniture bags, which and lovers Holiday gifts are a far cry from what could be.

sharon thomas box

(Source: Sharon Thomas)

“Why did you steal the child?” Thomas said.

Thomas went back to her local USPS and asked how this happened. An employee was surprised to see a photo of the doctored box, she said.

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“One of the ladies remembered me saying, ‘You don’t have black tape on your box,'” Thomas said.

But there was no answer to her question about the late, repacked box. Thomas was told she should insure her care package.

She also said that after reviewing her tracking information, “they said they had a problem at a facility in Moreno Valley, California.”

Thomas referred all of this, including questions about the facility, directly to USPS. A spokesman said they needed to see “whether there are any investigations or safety concerns at the facility” and referred Molina to the USPS Office of the Inspector General.

Between the box, shipping, and gift, Thomas said she’s now “almost $90.”

Thomas said she was changing gifts and was still waiting to see if USPS would cover the new shipping costs.

This is her request after this experience, hoping to serve as a warning to others.

The USPS Chicago spokesperson also issued the following recommendations:

“Customers can contact the Postal Inspection Service at or call 1-877-876-2455. “

USPS also said they shared Thomas’ contact information with the Department of Consumer Affairs in her area’s southern suburbs.

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The USPS Office of the Inspector General issued the following statement:

“As the Ombudsman Office is investigating this matter, we are unable to comment on a public inquiry or investigation. The USPS employs over 600,000 employees, the vast majority of whom are hard-working employees who take pride in handling and shipping U.S. mail. If unfortunate determines An employee is involved in mail theft, and OIG actively pursues a criminal case for federal, state and/or local prosecution.”

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