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Written by Jerry Durgan, Staff Reporter   

Protect your mail, said Bamberg Post Office Officer in Charge Cheryl Pinillos last week.

Sometime Sunday, Feb. 17, mail from the blue drop box in the parking lot of the Bamberg Post Office was looted by an as yet unidentified person. “Normally,” Ms. Pinillos said, “when you drop a letter in the blue pick-up box in the parking lot of the post office, it drops to the bottom of the container, making the mail inaccessible to looters. However,” she explained, “if you place a somewhat large package in the drop box it sometimes hangs before it drops down to the bottom. Any further mail dropped into the box then remains near the opening and is therefore accessible to a potential looter. To avoid this scenario, please do not place large packages in the outside drop box.”

Mail theft is a federal crime that can result in up to five years incarceration. “Americans depend on the security of the mail and they trust the U.S. Postal Service, above all other federal agencies, to protect their privacy. The Postal Service has ranked first among all federal agencies for the past three years, according to national surveys by the Ponemon Institute, “ said Postmaster General John Potter in a recent news release.

“When you place mail in one of the blue drop boxes, make every attempt to be sure it clears the slot,” she warns. “If you have a large package, even though it will fit into the slot, be sure that it clears the slot, or better yet, give it to one of the counter clerks inside.

“Though we keep an eye on the parking lot as much as possible, it’s particularly important during the evenings, nights, and on weekends when postal service staff are not around. We urge the public to also keep an eye on the parking lot and what’s going on and if you see anything that looks suspicious call the local police department.”

Ms. Pinillos, the Officer in Charge, has been the acting Postmaster for the Bamberg Post Office “for about two weeks.” Her current office is in Williams, SC., and her home is in Kennedy, SC. She’s been in the Postal Service for nearly 30 years (November will make her 30th year). She began as Clerk Carrier, then a City Carrier in Walterboro, and then on to become a Postmaster.

Also, she noted, a ceremony celebrating the Bamberg Post Office’s induction into the National Registry of Historic Buildings will be held on March 26. Not much information is available yet, but more information is forthcoming. “There should be several national, state and local dignitaries at the celebration,” she noted. Some renovations, putting on a pretty face, is currently on-going in preparation for the event. According to Nancy Foster, President of the Historical Society of Bamberg County, the event is planned for 11 a.m., March 26, “But this is still tentative,” she said. “Finalized plans will be announced shortly.”

 
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