They are the backbone of the U.S. Postal Service.
"You trust these people with your mail," said Yvette Miles as she stopped off at the Catonsville Post Office.
But news of a sticky-fingered mail carrier has replaced that trust with doubt.
"The first thing I thought was, 'Oh God. It could have been a paycheck of mine,'" added Pam Preston, a regular customer there.
"Sometimes I'll get cash from people, but often I'll be told that the people are a bit hesitant about that because they don't know what hands it will go into," said Richard Andrei.
According to postal inspectors, when thousands of pieces of mail reached the hands of Jeffrey Shipley, he handpicked, which ones to deliver and which ones to keep for himself.
When they searched his home at the Millpond Apartments in Millersville, they discovered more than 20,000 pieces of stolen mail, Including 55 gift cards and 15 credit cards, as well as prescription medicine, passports and even a Mother's Day card not to mention money orders and personal checks.
Now many customers, like Jay Schulman, are wondering aloud whether they may have been victims without even knowing it.
"I'm always looking in my mailbox for checks, but I don't get any," he said. "'I said, 'Did we get a check today?'"
Still others are contemplating the fate of a man entrusted with delivering some of their most personal items who appears to have simply pocketed them.
"It throws off my trust a little bit, but I still have a little bit of faith in them," said Denzel Miles.
Witnesses outside Shipley's apartment complex say they saw mail trucks arrive in number and postal employees carrying bin after bin of items from his home, which we can only assume may yet be delivered.