Post office is burglarized

December 16, 2005|By MELISSA HARRIS | MELISSA HARRIS,SUN REPORTER

A burglar broke into the West Friendship Post Office early yesterday and stole a computer system, postage printer and scanners that the postal service says have a lot of value to the government, but won't fetch much for the thief, unless he has the passwords.

Without the passwords, "the computer has no use to anyone outside the post office," spokesman Frank J. Schissler said. "Maybe they thought that they could sell the computer's guts to a pawn shop, but its guts are not a basic PC system. It was specially designed for the postal service."

The government is offering up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to the return of the printer and computer system, which weighs packages, calculates postage and tracks retail activity. Schissler said that identity theft is not a concern. The system tracks packages, not senders' payment information or addresses.

Schissler said the burglar forced his way into the lobby of the post office in the West Friendship Shopping Center, 12800 Frederick Road, between 1:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. yesterday. Workers are manually applying postage until a new printer is delivered, and the lobby will not be open after-hours until it is repaired.

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