PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There's been an increase in mail thefts and attacks on mail carriers in recent weeks across Philadelphia and much of the country.
Philadelphia police released video of a recent attack on a carrier in Kensington.
"Twice is kind of insane," said Tanya Brandona, when she learned her mail carrier had been robbed twice in a week.
"He's lovely. Always chatty, very kind. (He) just looks out for all of us, as well as neighbors," she said.
In the surveillance video obtained by 6abc, the carrier tried to chase after a man who snatched his keys on Sergeant Street on December 2. Just three days later, it happened again near the same area. This time the carrier was maced and his bag stolen. In the surveillance video the suspect is seen carrying the bag while opening stolen mail.
This crime is part of a growing trend in Philadelphia that is getting the attention of the US Attorney's Office.
"There has been a rise in crime involving the mail including mail theft, check washing and robbery of mail carriers," said Jacqueline Romero, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
On Thursday, Haverford Township Police said they caught three men stealing mail from a blue mail collection box in the 1600 block of Darby Road. When they tried to stop the car that the three suspects were in, police said the men started throwing the stolen mail out of the window. They recovered almost 500 pieces of mail.
In 2021, roughly 49 million Americans, or about 19% of the population, reported having at least one package stolen.
Police believe the same person attacked the mail carrier and stole the mail both times. Once he's caught he will face federal charges.