MIRAMAR (CBSMiami) – The U.S. Post Office is offering a reward for any information leading to the arrest of people who they say are targeting mail carriers.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering a $15,000 reward. They said, Wednesday, there have been three robberies and one attempted robbery of a carrier in Broward and Miami-Dade County this year.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Post Office released a video of a man who tried to rob a 63-year-old letter carrier on Saturday July 5th around 1:45 p.m.
“He’s a young black male in his early 20s—a stocky build,” said Blanca Alvarez, a postal inspector.
A report from Miami Police obtained by CBS’s Peter D’Oench reveals that the suspect approached the carrier from behind and choked him and repeatedly said, “Give me the key.” The report said the carrier said, “I can’t give you the key while you’re choking me.”
The suspect then took off from the scene at 1242 S.W. 4th St.
In releasing the video, postal inspectors want people to take note and watch as the suspect is seen on surveillance running away after trying to rob a postal carrier in Little Havana.
After the carrier’s truck passes by, video captures the suspect walking. Also on video, you see a number of angles of the suspect’s accomplice’s getaway vehicle—a 2010, or newer, silver Camaro.
Postal inspectors said the carrier was not injured but he could have been.
“Our letter carriers are out there and we are concerned about these violent crimes,” said Alvarez. “The important thing to stress is that we take the safety of our carriers very seriously.”
Three other postal carriers have been robbed this year in Miami-Dade County and Broward, including a female carrier last Thursday in North Miami. That’s where postal inspectors stuffed mailboxes with reward flyers and also passed out flyers looking for leads in this case.
Authorities are looking for two males in their late teens to early 20s who fled on foot after stealing the carrier’s master mail box key. One suspect was wearing a skully cap.
Authorities say suspects, like the man seen in the video from July 5th, are most often looking for master keys to mailboxes in search of people’s personal documents to commit identity theft.
“The stolen identities are used to apply for credit cards and they also look for mail to get items of additional value,” Alvarez said.
Robbing a postal carrier can lead to a 25-year federal prison term for an armed robbery and up to 10 years for an “unarmed robbery.”
Alvarez is alarmed by the crimes.
“We’re concerned for the safety of our carriers. Our number one goal is for them to come home at night in safety to their families. There is no reason to target people who are delivering mail,” she said.
Such crimes have been tragic.
Veteran postal carrier Bruce Parton was shot and killed on Dec. 6th of 2010 by criminals who took his master key.
D’Oench spoke with the 63-year-old postal carrier but he said he did not want to say anything at this time.
The $15,000 reward in the Little Havana case is for the arrest of anyone illegally possessing a postal key.
There is also a $15,000 reward in the North Miami case.
Alvarez says there is no information that link any of the suspects in the four cases.
Anyone with any information is urged to call 877-876-2455.