ST. LOUIS – There is a call for people to stop using the iconic, blue United States Postal Service mailboxes in St. Louis. Why? FOX 2 has obtained new evidence of people stealing mail from the boxes, again and again.

Surveillance video shows a man stealing the mail from a blue box at Euclid and Laclede shortly before 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 6. He actually had a key to open the box. He was just getting started, according to the authorities.

Police may never have discovered the crimes but for something you notice in the video, the suspect is having continued trouble with the mailbox access panel, using his foot to try to force it to stay closed.

“We got alerted by a business owner who saw one of the mailboxes, the bottom access panel, not closed all of the way,” Jim Whyte, executive director of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative, said. “So, (the business owner) looked at his business cameras.”

The Central West End’s neighborhood security team checked its network of surveillance cameras, too. Video showed the same suspect stealing from at least four more neighborhood mailboxes, within minutes of each other.

Thieves have been targeting carriers nationwide for their mailbox keys, a postal inspector said.

Efforts to replace the locks have not kept pace with the crimes.

For instance, FOX 2 shared video of a mailbox theft at Maryland and Euclid in the Central West End in December. The same box with the same old lock was among those just targeted.

Resident Patti Hayes said the mailbox she uses was targeted, too. She told FOX 2 that her bank recently notified her that someone tried to cash a check she had written, changing the amount from $200 to $2,000.

“I mailed it right here,” Hayes said. “I hated that. I’m not surprised because I have heard about that and when I had a check that was intercepted, now I know that that’s real.”

“People, I think, are most upset about that: this sacred institution that we know as the post office has become so vulnerable,” Whyte said.

He’s now advising residents to stop using the blue boxes and asking the Postal Service to either remove or cover and seal them.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress representing St. Louis, the state of Missouri, and beyond have called for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to address the ongoing issues with late or no mail.

The Postal Service has rolled out more than 10,000 new, high-security blue boxes and is replacing nearly 50,000 antiquated ones with new, electronic ones nationwide. Postal Service officials could not tell us where they have been installed in St. Louis.