A U.S. Postal Service worker caught throwing mail into a trash bin in Cincinnati on Wednesday has been suspended without pay and could face criminal charges.
The female worker, who has not been identified, was caught on video dumping several letters, paychecks and notices instead of delivering them.
Neighbors one street away from the dumpster said they wondered why their mail never showed up.
Alicia Carr said her stepmother, her sister and her friends complained about missing mail.
"People missing out on bills, missing out on letters, it could be just anything, anything important and necessary you're missing out on because (a postal worker is) doing stuff like that," Carr said. "It's crazy."
Calvin Harper lives nearby, and said his mail was not delivered Wednesday.
"I'm a little saddened by it because you rely on the postal system and they've failed you," Harper said.
Residents who caught the woman on camera said the USPS came to the dumpster after hearing the complaint and retrieved the mail from the trash.
The postal worker in the video did not carry mail for her usual route Thursday, and a male worker said he was filling in.
“This is clearly unacceptable behavior that does not reflect the efforts of the thousands of professional, dedicated carriers in our workforce," USPS spokesman David Van Allen said. "The Postal Service’s (Office of Inspector General) is currently investigating this incident.”
According to the building supervisor, the video brought the act to the attention of residents. Without the video, he said it may have gone unnoticed.
Ohio Postal Workers Union president Terry Grant said the worker's apparent disposal of mail is uncommon, but has happened before.
He said the video, as he saw it, is clear as day.
"It's an extremely rare thing," Grant said. "I can't say it doesn't happen because it does, but when you look at the numbers the billions of pieces of mail delivered and the number of cases, it's really, really low."
Later Thursday evening, Carr and Harper finally got their mail, but lacked satisfaction.
"It's just unacceptable," Carr said. "Something needs to be done about that. (There are) people missing out on bills, and all type of stuff."
"When you go a couple days without mail, you think something's definitely wrong so we want to give it a chance to play out and see what happened. You showing up at my door today was a surprise, so hopefully they've done something about it."
The postal worker in this case could be charged with federal misdemeanors for deserting mail and delaying mail delivery, officials said.