Help us fight circulation tampering

When restocking our distribution boxes at both the Harrison Avenue and 6th Street U.S. Post Offices Nov. 3, The Rock River Times personnel discovered unauthorized 8.5-inch by 11-inch fliers inserted into our papers. The fliers read, “Shame on you John Kerry for insulting our troops!”

These fliers were not inserted in our papers by any employee of this publication, nor any of our independent distributors. Obviously, these sheets were an effort at some last-minute, underhanded electioneering.

This is not the first time our papers have been tampered with or stolen from this location and many others. We have had many reports, particularly from the Loves Park/Machesney Park/Roscoe/Rockton area of individuals taking all of our papers, or our racks, or our distribution boxes.

Unfortunately, people do not get cell phone or other photographs of these people and the make, model and license plate number of their vehicle. Nor are they willing to sign affidavits testifying to the situation and the action of the individuals tampering with our circulation.

Another incident came to our attention several months back when the bulk mail unit at the main Post Office advised us that someone was stapling Rockford Register Star subscription cards with their bulk mail permit number to the front of our papers and putting them in mail boxes. The subscription cards were not addressed to anyone, which would cause the Post Office to send them to the Register Star and charge their permit number for the postage. Post Office employee Linda Cleary confirmed that approximately 25 papers were retrieved from mail boxes once a week over the course of about four weeks, and then stopped. A sample she showed us contained several pieces with handwritten notes regarding the quality of the Register Star’s new press being inferior to the color, registration, etc., of what was in our paper.

Cleary was concerned this would be an ongoing problem, and said she hoped we could find out who was doing this. I explained it would be impossible for us to determine who was collecting free papers from any of more than 2,000 locations, but that whoever was doing this had access to large quantities of Rockford Register Star subscription forms. The Post Office did not mail any of these papers back to the Register Star.

Last week, Nov. 1, when we took our weekly bulk mail to the Post Office, Cleary told us that it happened again. This time, only 10 papers were received with Rockford Register Star subscription forms attached to them.

If anyone has any information about these incidents and the individuals involved, please contact us at 128 N. Church St., Rockford, IL 61101, or at 964-9767.

Office Manager Marilyn Lamar contributed to this article.

From the Nov.8-14, 2006, issue

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