CHICAGO (CBS) — Mounds of undelivered mail found in the trash on the southwest side.

People living nearby said they’ve been having mail problems for months. CBS 2’s Steven Graves was there when postal inspectors showed up.

Trash day in North Lawndale.

It meant Ted Robinson did his usual search for junk in the alley near South Ridgeway. But this time, he said the trash man was surprised.

“He said, ‘This is some mail! Somebody’s going to be in trouble,'” Robinson said.

Piles of fresh mail pulled out. Some pieces were dated back weeks.

“Should have been delivered, but it wasn’t,” Robinson said.

(Credit: CBS)

Neighbor Chelsea Johnson might not have ever heard from her niece at army basic training.

“How dare someone throw our important mail in the garbage can,” asked Johnson. “She was struggling. And she needed me. For two weeks, I was supposed to be on my knees praying for her.”

So she and her husband gathered some of the other tax documents, checks, letters. With this being a federal crime, they called 911.

“For the past week, we didn’t get mail three times! Three times we did not receive mail,” Johnson said.

The problem has been going on for more than a year. When the mail actually does come, it’s delayed.

“Piles of mail! So, I’m like something’s going on at the post office,” Johnson noted.

In the past, she’s been told staffing issues are to blame. CBS 2 went into the office at Ogden and Pulaski on Wednesday and was told that the manager was out dealing with an emergency.

(Credit: CBS)

That emergency? Could have been U.S. postal inspectors coming out after CBS 2 sent emails. CBS 2 also found similar postal issues in Wrigleyville last November.

Another woman caught a mail carrier dumping documents with the mailbox.

“Who’s not managing? Who’s not paying attention to this? We don’t deserve this. We do not deserved to be treated like this,” she added.

Chicago Police officers on scene told CBS 2 victims should immediately report the missing mail to the department. And to report it to the Inspector General’s office.

A statement from the agency says:

The United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General is aware of the reported discarded mail.

If customers feel they might be a victim of mail theft or locate potentially discarded mail to contact our hotline at www.uspsoig.gov/hotline or 1-888-USPS-OIG.

As a matter of protocol, we do not confirm or refute information related to possible ongoing USPS OIG investigations, except in matters where details of the investigation become a matter of public record.