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Postal Service expands employee safety efforts amid thefts, robberies

USPS officials have offered a number of rewards leading to information on multiple crimes recently as they crack down on thefts.
Postal Service expands employee safety efforts amid thefts, robberies
Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 18, 2024

Employee safety is top of mind as U.S. Postal Service officials are offering rewards leading to evidence following a series of letter-carrier robberies and thefts. 

This week the United States Postal Inspection Service announced a $150,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect who is accused of robbing a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier in late March in Arlington, Texas. 

On Thursday the USPIS released an image and information as they work to arrest another suspect accused of stealing mail and parcels in New York. Postal officials are offering up to $100,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest and conviction in that case. 

SEE MORE: Stamps are about to get more expensive again

In March, USPS announced a nationwide campaign to combat postal crime and to protect postal service employees. Officials said arrests for robberies against letter carriers were up 73% year over year in that statement

Postal officials said they have conducted over 5,500 mail theft and violent crime prevention activities across the United States since the launch of their Project Safe Delivery initiative. USPS said it completed its second law enforcement surge in San Francisco in February as part of those efforts. 

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said, "We have been unrelenting in our pursuit of criminals."

But a union representing letter carriers said the USPS isn't taking crimes against postal employees seriously enough after a federal district court handed down a 30-day prison sentence for a suspect charged with armed robbery against a San Francisco letter carrier, Federal News Network reported.

In early January USPIS said at around 4:54 p.m. a USPS letter carrier was robbed in Rochester, New York, and the agency was offering a $150,000 reward for anyone who had information leading to an arrest and conviction. Several arrests had been made as robbery investigations were ongoing throughout Monroe County, where Rochester is located. 

In March Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Rep. Greg Landsman of Ohio introduced bipartisan legislation to address a rise in violent crime against USPS employees, especially focused on letter carriers. 

The Protect our Letter Carriers Act (H.R. 7629) would also look to address the issue of outdated collection boxes and arrow keys. 

U.S. Postal Service arrow keys offer universal access to mailboxes and it's against federal law for any unauthorized individual to be in possession of one. Nationwide there has been a spate of robberies by criminals targeting postal workers to get these keys. 

In 2021, 132 arrow keys were stolen from mail carriers.  

That number had more than tripled to 418 by 2023, according to numbers Scripps News obtained from the Postal Inspection Service after filing a public records request.

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