Note: This story has been updated with a response from the Postal Service

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some United States Postal Service locations are sealing up the blue collection boxes this holiday season.

Those looking to avoid the crowds and unpredictable weather tend to opt for the blue postal boxes. But they aren’t available at a USPS location on Erin Drive.

A postal worker told us thieves have been targeting collection boxes.

With the holiday season, in full swing some say this is frustrating.

Retha Moore wants to send gifts from the comfort of her car despite having recently dropped presents in the blue boxes that never made it to their destination.

“It’s frustrating and it’s been blocked off for weeks,” said Moore. “I complained inside, and they said there was nothing they can do and to bring the mail inside.”

She’s not the only one depending on collection boxes. We traveled to five direction locations. While not all boxes were blocked, we did find bins blocking people like Erin O’Dea from sending mail after hours at the location on Prescott.

“It would be nice if the post office would post that somewhere or tell us why its not safe or get security up here if it isn’t,” O’Dea said.

According to an audit by the USPS Inspector General, mail theft complaints increased by 161 percent from March 2020 to February 2021.

In its holiday guide, USPS encourages people to deposit mail in the blue collection boxes close to pickup time or bring it inside to the counter. They are also encouraging others to not send cash and to request signature confirmation.

USPS is also advising people to not let gifts sit overnight.

While an inconvenience to many, some people like Marjorie McGuire are thankful the blue boxes are closed off.

“I kind of appreciate that because if they didn’t do that and it got stolen, that would be bad,” McGuire said.

Those mailing presents are not letting thieves steal their holiday spirit and holding out hope their presents will make it under the tree.

The Postal Service on Thursday responded to this story, saying the boxes were closed because of damage. The entire statement is below:

The Postal Service takes the security of the mail very seriously, including for any receptacle in which customers deposit mail, such as a collection box.  Any time we are made aware of damage to our blue collection boxes, we take immediate steps to make repairs or provide a replacement box as quickly as possible. The boxes in question sustained damage and mail could not be securely deposited, so access was restricted, for the safety of our customers. In some cases, the timeframe for completion of repairs or replacement can depend on the current supply of new boxes. Local postal officials are aware and have taken the appropriate steps to address the situation. We anticipate having a replacement box very soon, in the same location. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience that may have been experienced and appreciate their patience as we work to successfully resolve this matter. We remain committed to working with customers to ensure they have safe and secure mail receptacles.  Customers can also securely deposit outgoing mail in the lobby drop box of their local Post Office. Customers are reminded that if they suspect mail theft or vandalism of a collection box, they should immediately contact the USPS Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.