By Marissa Parra

CHICAGO (CBS) — Here we go again.

Packages just dumped in an alley. And there’s a pattern here, southwest of downtown Chicago. CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reports on what happened to these possible holiday gifts, rudely abandoned.

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There are three separate confirmed incidents. A woman in Evergreen Park was leaving her home for the evening when she spotted a pile of new packages, and they weren’t for her.

“I was out here on Tuesday night. I couldn’t help but notice. I saw a ton of packages right there,” said Erin Harvey, who at first thought it was litter.

“I look and I’m like these are legitimate full packages,” Harvey said.

That was Tuesday in Evergreen Park. Little did she know around the same time a woman in Mount Greenwood would make the same discovery in her own alley. This time, there were 19 packages dumped in her garbage can. She posted a baffling photo of them sitting on her table before police picked them up.

The two incidents? Just half a mile a part.

“I didn’t realize how close it was,” Harvey said.

That incident with the 19 packages prompted 19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea to sound off, thinking it was yet another USPS issue.

“I was notified yesterday evening that in fact, it was FedEx,” O’Shea said. “They’ve got some explaining to do also.”

In fact, those 19 packages found in Mount Greenwood, but addressed to Evergreen Park residents, were never given to the postal service to begin with. As for the packages that Harvey found in her alley, the Postal Inspector and Office of the Inspector General are trying to figure out if there’s a link. Harvey said they definitely looked like holiday gifts.

“I mean there was a Forever 21 box, an Amazon package. There was a HelloFresh box,” Harvey said.

Those packages were picked up by police and delivered back to their rightful owner, but Harvey admit her trust ahead of gift giving season is a little shaken.

“It’s obviously frightening given it’s the holidays,” Harvey said. “It definitely makes me a little more hesitant to mail anything, at least without a hefty insurance policy.”

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Evergreen Park police said they got a different call about dumped packages two streets over the very next day.

If you find packages thrown away somewhere, call police first.

Then, if you have questions on where it came from, you can contact the U.S. Post Office Inspector General at www.uspsoig.gov/hotline or call the hotline at 1-888-USPS-OIG or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455 or go to the website https://www.uspis.gov/

CBS 2 received a statement from the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General:

“Regarding the report of the 19 packages reportedly found in the garbage, the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) investigation determined the 19 reported parcels found discarded were never provided to the Postal Service for processing and delivery. The parcels were handled by FedEx and not the Postal Service. This matter has been turned over to FedEx for any additional review.”

The Evergreen Park Police Department also provided a statement to CBS 2.

“On December 8, 2020 at 6:31p.m., the Evergreen Park Police Department responded to a found property call in the 10200 block of South Homan Ave. Upon arrival, officers learned that a resident located four (4) USPS packages in the alleyway, next to her garage. The packages were all sealed and addressed to residents in Evergreen Park and were ultimately delivered by the responding officer.

On December 9, 2020 at 6:36p.m., police again responded to a report of found property, now in the 10200 block of South Spaulding. Upon arrival, officers learned that a resident located three (3) USPS packages in the alleyway behind his residence. The packages were sealed and addressed to both residents of Evergreen Park and Chicago. The packages were subsequently delivered to the intended recipients.

“This information was turned over the United States Postal Inspector’s Office.”

As for FedEx, the company sent this to CBS 2:

“The safety and security of our customers’ shipments is a top priority for FedEx ground and service providers are expected to handle packages with the utmost care. We are reviewing the circumstances behind this incident and will take the appropriate action. As always, customers with questions about their shipments are encouraged to visit Fedex.com or contact customer service for more information.”

FedEx added “we are working with the appropriate parties to assist in identifying and delivering any packages tendered to FedEx ground that have not reached their intended recipients.”

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