Bay Area/ San Jose/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 18, 2024
Palo Alto Postal Worker Robbed of Keys, Suspects at Large After Midtown IncidentSource: Google Street View

Mail carriers in Palo Alto are on high alert after yet another strong-arm robbery, with thieves targeting a United States Postal Service worker for his postal keys. According to the Palo Alto Police Department, the incident occurred yesterday in the Midtown neighborhood when two men strong-armed the mail carrier. The suspects are still on the loose, described as Hispanic males in their twenties, around 5 feet 8 inches tall, and wearing black hooded sweatshirts. Concerning development, this may be linked to a similar incident from December 2023, which remains unsolved.

The police responded to a call from a Postal Service supervisor on Thursday, May 16, around 11:57 a.m. The robbery occurred in the Southwood Apartments parking lot at 2850 Middlefield Road, where the suspects demanded and made away with the carrier's postal keys. They also attempted to take his wallet and cell phone but failed after a short fistfight. The victim eventually called his supervisor to report the crime, and a black Nissan Altima was seen hastily leaving the scene. Palo Alto Police Department reports that the victim sustained minor injuries but declined medical attention.

The theft of postal keys is a growing problem, as they grant access to locked mailboxes, potentially leading to mail theft, identity theft, and other crimes. The United States Postal Inspection Service underscores the gravity of this issue by offering a reward of up to $150,000 for information that could lead to arrests and convictions of culprits involved in robberies of mail carriers. With robbers still at large, the police urge the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity around Postal Service personnel or vehicles.

Palo Alto detectives, now in collaboration with the United States Postal Inspection Service, conduct thorough investigations. In the meantime, the postal service has encouraged the public to closely watch out and report any sketchy behavior, especially near mail carriers or common mailboxes. With postal key possession constituting a federal crime that could result in a decade-long prison sentence, the stakes are high to bring the perpetrators to justice. "Unauthorized possession of a postal key is a federal crime," the Postal Inspection Service stated, "a conviction of which can land someone in prison for up to ten years." Anyone with information on this latest incident is urged to contact the Palo Alto dispatch center at (650) 329-2413 or send anonymous tips via email or text through the channels provided by the police department.