Headlamp bearing letter carriers deliver late into the night in Thornton neighborhood

Postal officials blame holiday, equipment breakage

THORNTON, Colo. - The United States Postal Service is giving new meaning to the term “late night delivery.”

For a variety of reasons, several letter carriers were out delivering mail well past 10:00 Tuesday night.

One carrier was spotted near the Thornton Post Office at East 88th Avenue and Washington Street at 11:30 p.m.

“I was sitting outside when the mail carrier came,” said Thornton resident Mayerling Muro. “It was about 10:00 [p.m.]. I really was shocked because he had a lamp on his head and I just thought, ‘poor guy.’”

Postal Service spokesman David Rupert declined an on camera interview, but said over the phone that because of the Columbus Day holiday, carriers had “quadruple the volume of mail they normally handle.”

He said there is also an increasing amount of mail to deliver.

"There has been double digit growth every month this year," he said, adding that "on top of that, some equipment failed," which slowed things down, "and a truck broke down."

“That route had to be split by other carriers,” Rupert said.

“We went out at about 10:00 [p.m.],” said Thornton resident Niurka Renteria. “When we got back, we saw the mail and a package here, and we just thought it was kind of unusual because it was so late.”

Renteria said she feels for the carriers.

“I think it’s kind of scary for them because it’s so late and something could happen."

Renteria also said she does not think packages should be left on front steps that late at night because a thief might steal them.

“Then we don’t get our package,” she said.

Muro expressed the same sentiment.

“I admire their devotion. I’m a nurse, so I understand ‘rain or shine,’” she said. “I commend them for coming out so late, but packages at the front door, probably not.”

Rupert said late night deliveries are “certainly not the norm and are certainly not what we want to do,” but he added that the U.S. Postal Service has made a commitment to deliver the mail and does so 7 days a week.

“We deliver all the mail every day, that’s our commitment,” he said.  “We do stress safety, but the mail does get delivered.”

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