Brunswick County man finds unopened mail in dumpster

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – A significant amount of mail was discovered in a dumpster at Oak Island Beach Villas on Caswell Beach Road on Tuesday.

Jerry McCarthy makes it a habit to check his dumpster for unauthorized items such as appliances, computers, or hazardous material.

This time it was different, McCarthy found a pile of mail thrown away in the dumpster near his home.

“I noticed some mail, and I picked up the mail and I realized that it wasn’t at this address,” he said. “Then when I picked up the other mail it was from the west end of the Island.”

At first, he thought someone cleaned out their mailbox – but soon realized it was undelivered mail.

What bothered McCarthy most were the Thanksgiving and Christmas cards, along with bills mailed to customers.

“I mean those poor people, right, the grandmothers, the people that had Christmas cards, Thanksgiving cards, right, birthday cards, it’s not right, we’re putting trust in these people to deliver our mail,” he said. “It’s what our taxes are for.”

McCarthy contacted the Caswell Beach Police Department – who reached out to the postmaster.

According to Police Chief Sam Massey, the postmaster said the mail would be delivered.

“He responded and took custody of the mail and said he would make sure it was delivered and that he would handle it appropriately,” he said.

Anyone who discovers unopened mail or packages can contact the police.

“They can absolutely call 911 and we’ll make sure the proper postmaster is advised of it and can take control of the mail,” he said.

Undeliverable mail determined to be of value, meaning the content is worth more than $25 and is barcoded is held for 60 days, according to the United States Postal Service’s website.

“I hope the person, you know, that did this has a little bit of remorse and realizes that those things are heartfelt, like the cards,” said McCarthy.  “People’s medical bills, what if somebody missed a mortgage payment because they didn’t get the notice they were late, right.”

According to U.S. Code § 1703- a postal service officer or employee, who
destroys, detains, delays, or opens any letter, postal card, package, or bag, can be fined or imprisoned.

WWAY stopped by the Southport Post Office – for answers – we were told the postmaster was not available, and the manager on duty was not authorized to speak to the media.

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