INDIANAPOLIS — The United States Postal Service is offering a $50,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest of a person who robbed a mail carrier in Indianapolis.
The robbery happened Friday evening on S Reisner St. in the near Southwest side of Indy. The mail carrier was robbed at gunpoint. A USPS Postal Inspector said this is an ongoing investigation.
”We’re going to find them, this has to be stopped,” said Paul Toms, the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 39 President.
Toms said he doesn’t know much about this robbery, but does know the carrier is okay.
Robert Ferguson lives on Reisner St., where the robbery happened, he was surprised to hear this happened so close to his home.
”I personally don’t feel unsafe being in my house, being out in my yard after dark, walking the street after dark,” Ferguson said.
Toms said this robbery is the latest in a recent string, he’s aware of four other postal carrier robberies going back the past few months.
“This is not a one off,” Toms said. “In the last four or five months or so there have been four other carriers in the Indianapolis area that have been robbed. What they want is the arrow keys, those are our keys that get into boxes, and they’ll open a lot of boxes.”
IMPD was not able to confirm these other robberies.
Toms said part of the issue is carriers working longer days because of staffing shortages.
”The postal service in Indianapolis should have 175 replacement carriers, we have about 20 maybe,” he said.
This means postal carriers working their normal routes and then picking up others. Toms said this means carriers pulling 12 hour days.
”You’re looking at 7, 8 o’clock deliveries regularly,” he said.
Toms said working later into the evening increases chances of danger for these postal carriers. The robbery Friday happened around 7:15 that night, late into the carriers day.
”That occurred in the 12th hour of that carrier’s day,” Toms said.
He said he’s seen violence against carriers rise during the pandemic, the robbery Friday happened just weeks before the two year anniversary of postal carrier Angela Summers being shot and killed along her route.
Toms described the murder as “devastating.” He said postal carriers are trained to put their well being first.
”That mail is not worth it, that vehicle isn’t worth it, protect your own life and safety,” Toms said.
The local U.S. Postal Inspector office was unable to comment because of the ongoing investigation. Postal Inspector Kathryn Woliung said letter carriers are trained to avoid situations that pose a risk.
“Letter carriers are trained to observe for suspicious and/or unsafe conditions and are encouraged to report these observations to their supervisors and the Inspection Service. Inspectors work closely with neighborhood crime prevention groups and other concerned citizens to keep an eye out for their letter carriers.”
If you have any information about the Friday robbery, USPS asks you call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455, say “Law Enforcement,” and reference Case No. 3702314 or call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at (316) 262-TIPS.