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U.S. Postal Service officials have sounded the alarm over at least six armed robberies on postmen that occurred in Maryland and Washington, DC, over a two-day period, according to a report.
“This alarming trend must end,” United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) spokesman Michael Martel told a news conference. “It’s a sad state of affairs when it comes to thefts from someone who provides an essential service to our communities. But it’s happening here, and it needs to stop.”
Declining to go into too much detail about a potential motive, Martel said the suspects were carrying personal property as well as “a wide variety of items that the Postal Service provides to their carriers to do their day-to-day work,” although that he does not. believe they stole mail right now.
In the six armed robberies that occurred in the DC metro area, the suspects had brandished a firearm. In two of these cases, the porters were also assaulted and punched in the face or head. Martel said none of the porters were hospitalized and suffered only minor injuries that did not require further medical attention.
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Four robberies of postal service carriers took place on Friday before the July 4 weekend.
The first was at 10:30 a.m. Friday in Wheaton, Maryland, where a suspect approached a swept away letter, brandished a gun and demanded property before fleeing in a black sedan, possibly an Infiniti .
Nearly 20 minutes later, another postman was approached at gunpoint by a suspect who police say demanded goods and fled in a vehicle matching the same description. The suspect in both incidents was described as a black male with a high-pitched voice, possibly in his 20s, wearing a black ski mask, all black clothing, and between 5ft 6in and 5ft 8in tall.
At around 11:24 a.m. Friday, a suspect approached a mailman on his route in northwest Washington, DC, demanded possessions and assaulted the mailman, hitting him in the chin, police said.
The suspect seized the property and fled in a black Mercedes.
The latest incident of the day occurred around 1:30 p.m. in Columbia, Maryland, where a suspect approached a mail carrier, brandished a gun and demanded property.
The suspect in this incident was described as a thin, fair-skinned black man, approximately 5ft 9in tall, wearing a red shirt.
Two more thefts were reported on Thursday. At 12:55 p.m., a Postal Service mail carrier was delivering along a route in Takoma Park, Maryland, when he was approached by two suspects who brandished a weapon, demanded goods, and assaulted the carrier. They then fled in a black sedan.
At 1:18 p.m., about two miles away, a mailman was delivering along a road in northeast Washington, D.C., when he was approached by two suspects, who brandished a gun and demanded goods before fleeing the area. In this case, the carrier was not injured, police said.
The suspects in both incidents were described as two young, thin black men about 5ft 8in to 5ft 10in tall and wearing ski masks. One of them was wearing a dark colored hoodie and jeans and was armed with a black and silver handgun. The second suspect was described as wearing a black hoodie and jeans. The two reportedly fled the area in a black sedan.
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Martel announced a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest, identification and prosecution of the individuals involved. The amount is “substantial and reflects the Postal Inspectorate’s commitment to the postal service letter carriers who do their rounds for us,” Martel said.
The reward applies to every incident at this time, he added, and anyone with information is asked to contact postal inspectors by calling 877-876-2455.