Before I went there, I called the woman at the local post office again and spoke with her for several minutes, mentioning the conversation I had last night with my neighbor. She asked if I’d added that to the postal inspector’s case file. I hadn’t yet, but that was my next call. Anyway, she told me that all master keys have to be accounted for at the end of the day, so it’s not like an employee could access my box with one after hours. I asked about the possibility of one of them creating a copy, but she said they wouldn’t have time. They keep track of where the carriers are at all times. So maybe it was another thief after all, someone who found my missing card, which listed my name, address, and the exact dates I’d be gone, and picked my lock every night. That seems brazen and risky, with very little reward for the efforts, but it’s certainly possible. My lock didn’t seem damaged, but I haven’t looked at it closely yet; it opened when I used my key, though it did stick a bit when I tried to close the box. So maybe that’s it. I mentioned that to the woman at the post office, but she seemed to be under the impression that the card was lost there at the office and not somewhere along the route. So it could still be an employee who found the card and passed it on to a friend or something. It seems crazy, but clearly someone opened my box every day while I was gone.
Well, the police have my information, so perhaps they’ll be in contact with me.
It’s now 2:50 p.m. I spoke with another woman at the postal inspector’s office, giving her the updated information about my neighbor who was gone for part of the same time I was gone, but who had nothing stolen. To my mind, that completely eliminates the possibility of a random thief with a master key, for surely such a person would have taken that neighbor’s mail as well. So that information is now added to my case file. I hope the thief is caught soon, so I can focus on better things.