The Mystery of the Smelly Letters: Who’s Dumping Dog Poop Into Munich’s Mail?
For months, one or more perpetrators have been slipping dog doo through mailboxes in Munich and surrounding districts. Any mail that comes in contact with the excrement then dirties the conveyor belts in post office sorting areas.
The police have no leads so far as to the identity of the perpetrators, but have established that some of the excrement is also human. Nor do they have any idea about what may be motivating the behavior. “Maybe a grudge against the post office, weird humor — we just don’t know,” says police spokeswoman Alexandra Schmeitz.
The incidents started this summer, first in mailboxes in the western part of Munich and the districts of Starnberg and Fürstenfeldbruck, and then extending into the eastern part of the city and other outlying districts. Costs to the post office, meanwhile, are mounting into the thousands of euros as dozens of mail boxes have to be cleaned, in addition to the stamping machine conveyor belts in the distribution centers. Processing time is also lost as the belts are stopped for cleaning.
(See photos from Munich’s 200th Oktoberfest.)
The situation has post office users just as unhappy as its employees. Some mail has to be thrown out as a result of the attacks. Workers try as best they can to clean up the rest. The salvaged mail is delivered in plastic baggies with an explanatory note — needless to say, addressees remain unenthusiastic about receiving the malodorous missives.