Sunday, March 3

Wellington woman still missing USPS package full of sentimental items shipped months ago

A Wellington woman called WPTV after a package she mailed to her daughter, filled with sentimental items, has been missing for almost three months, prompting a holiday warning.

Knitting is Roberta Philmus’ passion.

She spent the past year knitting a blanket and a pillow for her daughter in Colorado and sent it to her through the United States Postal Service on Sept. 18.

“It was supposed to get there by Sept. 22, and it didn’t,” Philmus said. “It’s been through seven or eight different post offices, some of them as many as seven or eight times, and they can’t get it back to me and they can’t get it delivered.”

According to the USPS tracking log, the package went from West Palm Beach to the Grand Junction Distribution Center in Colorado to Avon, Colorado, where Philmus’ daughter lives, back to Florida to Jacksonville, to Gainesville, to Dunnellon, Florida, on to Inglis, Florida, and then back to Colorado to Denver.

From there, on Oct. 6, the package was bounced back to Jacksonville and on to Gainesville once again. On Oct. 10, it was tracked to Dunnellon and went on to Inglis for a second time. Then it went to Jacksonville again and on to Kansas City from there with about a dozen more back-and-forth stops after that.

It was last tracked to Jacksonville again on Dec. 7.

Philmus said when she called USP, she was told the issue was with the package’s bar code.

“The people that work for the post office in Miami have re-issued a car code and the machines are just not reading them,” she said.

WPTV contacted USPS and in an email in late November, a spokesperson said, “Our Consumer Affairs rep spoke with our customer and advised her that the barcode has been updated. Customer and rep will receive tracking notification.”

However, Philmus is still waiting for the package to either be returned to her or sent to her daughter.

“I would be happy to get the package back if you could get it back to me, but they can’t,” Philmus said.

At this point, according to the USPS website, the best course of action now is to complete an online help request form on their website.

With the holidays around the corner, the USPS is reminding Floridians to be cautious when mailing anything sentimental or valuable.

“Unfortunately, mail theft is an issue and during this time of year, criminals do know that valuables are in the mail, so that’s what they’re looking to target, valuables, target people’s mail,” Bryan Masmela, a U.S. Postal Inspector with the Miami Division, told WPTV. “There are individuals that sometimes drive around looking for packages to be delivered to houses that are unattended.

As for Philmus, she’s holding on to hope that she might see her package again.

“I really hope so, but if they can’t deliver it in 60 days, and we’re going into the Christmas rush mailing system, how are they going to get it back to me?” she said.

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