Oct. 3-The United States Postal Inspection Service is offering up to $50,000 for information that will help them solve armed robberies of letter carriers last month in Dayton and in Trotwood.
The robberies took place on Sept. 22. Two mail carriers say they were approached and told to hand over their keys to blue mailboxes. One mail carrier said in a 911 call that the suspect made off with his key.
"The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) who committed an armed robbery of a U.S. Postal Service employee," the United States Postal Inspection Service said in an announcement.
The robberies were the latest incidents in what's been a rash of mail-related crime over the last year. Items had been stolen from at least seven different post office mailboxes in Beavercreek, Dayton, Kettering and the Centerville/Washington Twp. area. In Kettering and Riverside, nearly $75,000 in stolen checks later were cashed by parties they were not issued to, police said.
Records obtained by the Dayton Daily News show the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is aware of more than 40 cases related to mail thefts this year with the majority taking place at the exterior drop box on Paragon Road Post Office.
The first armed robbery of a postal worker for which the reward was offered took place in the 2900 block of Melbourne Avenue in Dayton and the second took place in the 400 block of Malden Avenue in Trotwood.
The suspect in the Dayton robbery was last seen entering a black Nissan sedan and traveled west on Edison Street towards North Gettysburg Avenue. Officials said that no letter carriers were injured in the incidents.
The Dayton letter carrier said he just pulled up on Melbourne Avenue to deliver mail on his route when a man with a gun wearing a teal or aqua blue hooded sweatshirt, black shorts and red athletic shoes walked up to his truck as he was getting out, according to a 911 call.
"He took the vehicle keys but he was trying to get the arrow keys that get into our blue boxes," The letter carrier told a dispatcher in his 911 call. "We've got a thing going, they've been trying to take our arrow keys and steal checks out of people's mailboxes."
In the Trotwood robbery, the gunman was wearing a light green hoodie. He described the man jumping into a small black Nissan after the robbery but said it was too far away for him to read the license plate.
"I'm a mailman. He came up there and asked for my key and he had a gun with him," the mail carrier said in a 911 call.
Postal Inspector and Public Information Officer Nicole Lutz said the reward given to someone who helps authorities is determined by its headquarters.
"Take no action to apprehend these persons yourself," the post office's inspection service said.
How to report a tip
To report a tip, call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455. The reference numbers for the cases are 3834283 and 3834424.