USPS halts service in California city overrun by homeless after repeated attacks on mail carriers
The United States Postal Service has halted postal service in a California beach town plagued by homeless camps after the agency claimed its mailmen had been attacked in recent months.
The first incident occurred in Santa Monica on Jan. 19 when a postman was attacked by a person wielding broomsticks near the intersection of 14th Street and Arizona Avenue, three blocks from the beach.
The carrier was reportedly uninjured in the attack, CBS News reported.
Several months later, residents in the area received messages from USPS informing them of the suspension of the delivery service to all addresses along block 1300 of 14th Street.
The message said that “several carriers have been subjected to attacks and threats from a person who has not been located or apprehended.”
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The 1300 block of 14th Street in Santa Monica, pictured, has been the scene of at least three attacks on mail carriers in recent months, USPS said
A United States Postal Service (USPS) employee unloads packages from his truck. Postal service suspended in a Santa Monica neighborhood over recent attacks on mailboxes
USPS spokeswoman Natashi Garvins confirmed that there have been three separate incidents in the area in recent months involving three separate mail carriers. Fox News Digital†
“This is an unusual but necessary step to protect our employees,” Garvins said before going into further detail.
However, only one attack has been officially reported to authorities, CBS News reported.
Meanwhile, despite the notice, USPS continues to deliver packages in the area, but the delivery of paper mail has stopped, requiring residents to collect their mail in person from their local post office on 7th Street.
The intersection of 14th Street and Arizona Avenue in Santa Monica, where a postman delivering mail was attacked by a resident with a broomstick
It is unclear on Monday when the suspension will end.
A Santa Monica Police Department spokeswoman told the outlet that the department was first notified of the USPS’ suspension of service on Saturday.
The US Postal Inspection Service said it is “aware of recent reports of suspicious activity against mail carriers in Santa Monica, California,” a statement to Fox News Digital said.
“Postal inspectors are currently investigating the incidents and are unable to comment further at this time.”
“Postal inspectors encourage anyone who observes suspicious activity involving US Mail to report it to local law enforcement and to the postal inspectors at 1-877-876-2455.”
The news comes after dozens of homeless people had to be removed from a camp in nearby downtown Los Angeles — after residents and business owners complained that the area was plagued by crime ranging from sexual assault to overt drug use, vandalism, fires and prostitution.
In the week of April 2, the total violent crime rate in Greater Los Angeles increased by seven percent, with robberies at more than 17 percent and assaults by more than four percent.
According to police statistics, analyzed by NBC News, the crime rate in which the suspect was listed as homeless has risen 31 percent in Venice over the past year. Homeless crime victims up 83 percent over the same period
“We see fights almost every day. There is drug use in the open air, there is semi-nudity as they pee and defecate under a tree. Our bikes have been stolen, there are fires, needles are everywhere and the children at school are exposed to them,” said one resident.
The homeless population has mushroomed in Venice. A 2014 census showed that only 175 people live in poverty. Five years later, that number stood at over 1,200. But it’s gotten out of hand in the past few months
The cluster of about 30 remaining people was moved from the Little Tokyo neighborhood, a few blocks from City Hall, in the latest of a series of cleanups to move homeless people into temporary housing and tackle the staggering level of homelessness in the city. Angels, where 94 percent of residents say it’s a serious problem.
Plumbing workers worked late into the night to clear the rubble in the street after volunteers helped move people and some of their belongings.
It is the second sweep of the Toriumi Plaza in recent weeks. Last month, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority moved 55 people from the camp to shelters, leaving just 25 to 30 people, FOX11.com reported, according to City Council member Kevin de León.
Previous cleanups have targeted the Echo Park and MacArthur Park areas.
A recent Los Angeles Times poll named the city’s homelessness crisis as the top concern among residents, ahead of housing affordability, traffic, air quality and climate change.