BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Mail carriers using their own vehicles is not a new thing. Rural route mail carriers have been around since 1896.
The United States Postal Service has allows these employees working in rural areas to not only use their own car but wear casual clothes, but city mail carriers are always in a marked USPS trucks and uniforms. Both go through many of the same extensive background checks and procedures when applying for the job.
On Monday, a homeowner called the police reporting a suspicious person around his mailbox putting an item into the box and taking off on the corner of Harris Road and Buena Vista. It turns out according to police; it was more than likely a rural mail carrier.
But if you live in a rural area how can you tell if the person delivering your mail works for the post office or is a suspicious stranger.
"When they have keys to all the mailboxes and all of them are open, and then on their shirt, they have U.S. Mail. We know they are from the post office," said David Johnson a pastor living in Southwest Bakersfield.
Some rural mail carriers may or may not have a USPS logo on their personal car, but USPS officials said they will always have an I.D. badge on at all times.
If you are concerned about your mail or need to report mail theft, there is a 24-hour number for the postal inspector 877-876-2455.