$50K reward offered in North Philadelphia mail carrier robbery

NORTH PHILADELPHIA - November 20, 2013

The postal carrier has always been the respected individual that no one touched. But authorities are growing more concerned after a third mail carrier was held-up at gunpoint in Philadelphia.

"This is not normal," said Postal Inspector George Clark. "We don't see a lot of robberies like this. We don't really understand why anyone would be robbing a mail carrier."

In the latest incident, authorities say a postal carrier was delivering the mail in the 2400 block of Cumberland when he was approached by two masked gunman demanding his mail bag.

It happened around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Police say the men fled the scene in a silver Lexus SUV.

The mailman was not injured, but some people didn't get their mail today as a result.

"What's the world coming to when the mail man can't even deliver the mail? I'll tell you, it's getting rough. It's getting rough out here, no one knows, it's a shame though," said Rhonda Williams.

"It's astonishing to me," said Andre Freeman. "Our mail man, he's a good dude. I guess these cats out here today is very-I don't know-thirsty, hungry or whatever. I can't see s stealing from a mailman."

Police say another mail carrier was robbed of his mail bag on Monday at the corner of Chew and Mt. Pleasant, and on November 7th, police say a mail carrier was mugged in the 6100 block of Oxford Avenue while attempting to deliver mail to the Oxford Village Apartments.

Authorities do not believe any of these cases are connected.

Last year, the postal service reported 83 robberies or attempted robberies of postal employees across the country.

"We are concerned for them and their safety," said Clark. "We certainly hope and don't expect this to become a regular occurrence."

Residents in the North Philadelphia neighborhood near 19th and Cumberland say their mail carrier is a friendly long time figure.

Officials say it is fortunate that none of the postal carriers were injured in the Philadelphia holdups.

With the holidays approaching, packages and gifts are being sent and delivered through the mail. Authorities want to remind residents to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activities.

Robbing a mail carrier is a federal offense.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Philadelphia Police at 215-686-TIPS (8477), text a tip to PPD TIP (773847) or through PhillyPolice.com.

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