USPS addresses mail mystery in Arlington's Douglas Park neighborhood

A United States Postal Service truck. (WJLA)

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) – Some Arlington residents say they’re having some serious mail problems: getting mail late, in some cases, getting pieces of mail that should have been delivered months ago.

Talk to residents in the Douglas Park neighborhood, and they’ll tell you about a missing mail mystery that has them mostly mad.

“I had two bills, one from February and one from March, delivered in August,” said Todd Post.

“I had a birthday card that my sister mailed from New Jersey on Feb. 4. It didn’t get here until March 10,” said Marianne Petrino.

The postal problems are perplexing. Some residents, like Carol Freysinger, have been receiving their neighbors’ mail.

“At least once a week, somebody’s complaining about ‘I got someone else’s mail, I’m missing a package,’” Post said. “It just seems to be pervasive throughout the neighborhood.

Freysinger doesn’t know where her packages are going.

“I don’t know, I tracked mine as far as the post office and I was told, with my tracking number, that it was delivered, but I don’t know where it went,” she said.

The Douglas Park community’s mail comes from a post office on Glebe Road.

Residents told ABC 7 News they’ve noticed a change for the worse over the past year. Many point to a revolving door of letter carriers on the route and wonder if the U.S. Postal Service’s efforts to cut costs are cutting into its service.

In a statement, a USPS spokesman said, “We are investigating the claims of misdelivery for the Douglas Park neighborhood. We welcome the opportunity to address service issues.”

Residents hoped the problems would be resolved with the precision of overnight delivery, but after an ABC 7 News story about the issues ran on Wednesday, neighbors told us about even bigger problems—including mail theft.

Matt Girard’s daily ritual of checking his mail still hasn’t turned up the one thing he’s been waiting for—the county sticker he says should have arrived more than a month ago. Missing items are the reason he stopped having important things sent to his house months ago.

“I don’t have trust in the postal service anymore,” he said.

Neither does his neighbor, Misty Costner.

“Most of the time, if we get a greeting card, it’s ripped open,” she said.
Costner filed complaints with the post office and postal inspector after realizing potentially thousands of dollars tucked in cards meant for her young daughter never arrived.

“Certainly, it seems like something could be done,” she said.

“I just thought, you know, after [an ABC 7 News] story airs, maybe they’d pay more attention to things like that,” said John Fiencke.

Instead, Fiencke arrived home Thursday to find packages not neatly stacked like UPS did, but carelessly dropped, ending up under his car.

“[USPS] left a package in the driveway and just … splat,” he said.

“It seems unique to this post office, so we don’t understand,” Costner said.

ABC 7 News asked USPS specifically how it was handling these complaints and its investigation, but got no response.