Columbus is facing a United States Postal Service (USPS) challenge as several mail carriers have now been robbed at gunpoint and their universal mailbox keys were stolen.
“A gunman held up a letter carrier on Partridge Place in north Columbus on Jan. 27 when he was in the middle of his delivery route,” WTTE reported.
The mail carrier said the suspect had an accomplice who was waiting for him in a vehicle.
“Since last month, four mail carriers have been robbed in Columbus at gunpoint for their keys,” the report said. “Three hold-ups have happened in the past three weeks.”
Federal postal investigators are looking into the matter.
USPS did not return a comment request.
The crimes are not victimless.
With keys to USPS’ ubiquitous blue drop boxes, thieves have been stealing mail – including checks – from ordinary people.
KTTE said that more than 12 people have reported their mail being stolen by the letter thieves, including one woman whose rent check was stolen and cashed.
“It’s $1,500 to cover two months, now we are out and behind $750,” Mary Stump said. “It’s not something to mess with, people’s money, especially the rent.”
A former Postal Police Officers Association President James Bjork said that is exactly what the thieves are looking for.
“They are not looking to steal five dollars from Grandma who is sending it to her grandson Timmy,” he reportedly said. “What they are looking to steal are checks and credit cards.”
Now, the Postal Inspection Service is offering a reward to help catch suspects.
“The U.S., Postal Inspection Service is now offering a $50,000 reward to catch suspects involved in multiple robberies of letter carriers held up at gunpoint around Columbus,” the report said. “The most recent hold-up happened January 14th in Columbus on Dana drive, where suspects fled in what appears to be a light-colored Ford Taurus with damage to the passenger side and the driver’s side front wheel cover.”
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