2005-06-17 / Front Page

Postal Inspectors, NYPD Descend On Broad Channel

Postal Inspectors and NYPD personnel came to the Smile USA Market on Cross Bay Boulevard to remove a safe belonging to the federal government.Postal Inspectors and NYPD personnel came to the Smile USA Market on Cross Bay Boulevard to remove a safe belonging to the federal government. United States Postal Inspectors remained tight-lipped at press time about an evening excursion on Wednesday to the Smile USA Market at 917 Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel.

The Postal Inspectors, assisted by the New York City Police Department’s elite Emergency Service Unit (ESU) and a city tow truck took away a small safe from the supermarket, which was formerly known as “O’Mac’s.”

Allen Weissmann, a spokesperson for the Postal Inspectors, said on Thursday that the inspectors were “conducting an audit” and couldn’t get into the safe because the new owners of the market did not have the combination.

The safe sits on Cross Bay Boulevard prior to being removed by tow truck to an undisclosed location.
The safe sits on Cross Bay Boulevard prior to being removed by tow truck to an undisclosed location. “It was so hot in the store that the NYPD had to take the safe out onto the street,” Weissmann said.

A source close to the investigation told The Wave, however, that the former owner of the store, who had the post office franchise for Broad Channel, might have absconded with more than $10,000 in cash and stamps belonging to the federal government.

“The former owner sold his business and didn’t notify postal officials,” the source said, asking to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak with the press. “He did about $50 a day in business with us and ordered about $8,000 in stock after he had already sold the business. He continued to do his paperwork reports each night and we didn’t know he was no longer in business and was planning to run.”

Officers from the ESU, using jackhammers and ropes, took an old safe that was tucked away in the corner of the market and deposited it on Cross Bay Boulevard.

A tow truck then picked up the safe and removed it to an undisclosed location.

This is reportedly the second time in recent years that the postal service has had problems with its Broad Channel franchise.

More than two years ago, a store at the corner of Cross Bay Boulevard and Noel Road was closed when the owner reportedly was giving himself loans on money order cash,

Tuesday night’s raid effectively closed down the Broad Channel operation and cut people off from their post office boxes. There are several local stores vying for the franchise, The Wave has learned.

Post Officials said that patrons who had post office boxes at Smile USA would have to travel to the Rockaway Beach Post Office to get their mail until other arrangements are made.

Sources both at the post office and the postal inspectors declined to provide the name of the old owner.

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