“Lost” brass

  • So, well over a month ago at this point I was sent a box of 223 brass to process for a guy. I boxed it up to return it and asked if he wanted any insurance (over the standard $50) and he declined. About 3 days later the package showed “delivered” according to tracking info. The guy however said that the brass never got there.

    I called USPS multiple times trying to get the $50 insurance from them, but I was finally told that they would not pay out because the package was marked “delivered”. They even claimed that they had the gps coordinates at the guys house where it was delivered. I wrote it off and assumed that it was stolen off of his porch.

    Yesterday the brass was finally delivered...by the police!!!

    Apparently the brass was delivered to 38th street instead of 28th street...10 blocks away. The older lady that received it proceeded to open it...and then just let it sit there for over a month. When she saw the news of the school shootings she called the police who came and collected the brass and package from the woman. Then, after preforming a thorough background check on the guy (and probably me too), the police delivered the package.

    Question 1– did the postal delivery person scan the package as “delivered” at his address and then proceed to take the package 10 blocks over to the wrong address to deliver it...or did the postal inspector lie to me?

    Question 2– why were the police not at all concerned with the woman violating federal law in opening someone else’s mail?

    Question 3– what “probable cause” did the police have in order to run a background check?

    Question 4– what gave them the right to “search and seize” the package to determine if it was “dangerous” or not?

    In the end I am glad that he finally got his brass...but I am very angry at how it was handled by everyone involved.

  • @dddoo7

    1. I’d speculate that human error somewhere, either handwriting, a dumb delivery guy or sorter caused the error. It might be as simple as the delivery guy pulled up in front of 38 rather than 28, scanned the package, threw it on the porch and left. The website showed delivered because it was, just to the wrong address. My mail used to get put in the wrong box when I lived in an apartment. Same kinda thing. Probably not a lie, just an error in the system that happens thousands of times a week.

    2. Most people blindly open the mail. And again, this error happens thousands of times a week. It’s generally not illegal to make a reasonable mistake. On the other hand you could have a case because she “prevented the mail from reaching its intended recipient.” Though given the low value, the fact it started a mistake, was likely the first/only incident with this lady, and the fact that the police/postal inspectors/DAs are overworked it probably won’t go anywhere. Plus it’s bad for optics to arrest and prosecute old ladies. Call the inspector back and say you want to press the issue if you feel strongly about it.

    3.A background check around here (CA) can be run as part of an “investigation.” To answer this more specifically you would have to check the laws in whatever jurisdiction this took place in. A “background check” in this case might be as simple as just typing his name in to the on board computer to see where he lives. I’m curious how he knows they did a background check.

    1. I’m not sure how you mean they seized the package nor am I sure how you mean they determined it was dangerous. It was opened already for one thing (subjecting it the plain view rule) and the lady probably told them that it contained “bullets” which is a statement given as part of the “investigation.” If it were California where you can’t buy mail order ammo that could be probable cause. Ultimately it would come back to the law wherever this happened.

    I realize this doesn’t help much and probably doesn’t make you feel much better, but I’d put it out of your mind if you can. Sorry you have to deal with that.


  • @ragnarnar

    Thanks for the response. I’m probably going to just let it go. I am very frustrated with the lady for sitting on the package for over a month....and then calling the police instead of just putting it back in the box with a “wrong address” note.

    I do still contend that the postal inspector lied. I realize that it was delivered to the wrong address by mistake, but I was told that they had the gps coordinates of where the package was marked delivered and that it was the correct address. If he really had the coordinates then he would have known it was the wrong address and where the package had been delivered.

  • When dealing with cops, state and federal employees, bureaucrats and most politicians it pays to remember Hanlon's Razor:

    Don't ascribe to malice what can be plainly explained by incompetence

    Glad you found your brass


  • Look what happens to people that actually care in this world, and those that seek to hold others accountable for their mistakes.

    Trying to do everything right every day is exhausting. Trying to ensure OTHERS do everything right every day is impossible, and if you attempt it, the whole and entire world will attack you instantly and without remorse.

  • What?!