Los Altos post office reopens after malicious flooding

Post Office vandalism
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A post office employee, left, accepts a letter for posting from a customer Tuesday as his colleague, right, hangs caution tape to warn others of a flood at the downtown Los Altos post office. Los Altos Police officers believe someone maliciously placed a running hose in the building.

The post office in downtown Los Altos reopened to customers Wednesday morning (Feb. 6) following a flood that is thought to be an act of vandalism.

Post office employees who arrived at work Tuesday discovered a few inches of water inside the Main Street facility; a hose connected to a spigot outside the back door of the building had been wedged in the door, the water left to run overnight. The hallway connecting the front and back doors is left unlocked so customers can access their P.O. boxes at all hours.

Los Altos Police Officer Brent Butler investigated the scene, searching for possible surveillance footage from nearby businesses as postal employees used brooms to push water onto the sidewalk. They directed surprised customers, many laden with packages, to patronize Los Altos’ other post office, located at 1525 Miramonte Ave.

The branch reopened at approximately 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Customers subsequently had access to the lobby where they could purchase stamps from clerks, drop off packages and conduct other business, but the hallway containing P.O. boxes remained cordoned off. Clerks believe that area may reopen by Saturday or Sunday, but water damage experts must first complete an assessment. Customers who desire their P.O. box mail can get it by waiting in line and speaking to a clerk at the front lobby.

Report tips about the crime to the Los Altos Police Department at 947-2770.

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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