Police are hunting for a Philadelphia mailman suspected of hoarding more than 20,000 pieces of unopened post, including checks, bills and a college acceptance letter, CBS Philadelphia reported Friday.

"Dave the mailman," as he was known in the neighborhood, always seemed friendly to people on his route, but he had a secret back at home: tubs of unopened letters. Police reportedly uncovered correspondence dating back to 1997.

"I got mail today from 2007. Paychecks, things like that that I needed. Stuff from the Social Security Administration, I.R.S.," resident Kevin Carpenter told the station.

It's hardly the first time a mailman has come under suspicion of keeping letters on layaway. A suburban Detroit mailman was arrested last year for a similar offense. One year earlier, a North Carolina man received probation for becoming a living, breathing spam blocker by filtering thousands of pieces of junk mail.

For one resident on the Philadelphia route, at least, the story has a happy ending. One undelivered letter held an acceptance to West Chester University, CBS reported.

He got the good news anyway, and is now a senior at the school.