Postal carriers citywide continue to be robbed at gunpoint and police say at least 12 have occurred in the last month, most recently on Wednesday in the city’s North Lawndale neighborhood.
In each instance, one to three armed robbers approached mail carriers on the public way during the afternoon and demanded their postal keys by threatening force before fleeing the scene in a waiting vehicle, according to a Chicago police community alert.
In one of the incidents, the robbers took a victim’s vehicle by force following one of the attacks, which began Mar. 2 in the Little Italy neighborhood and happened most recently on Wednesday afternoon in North Lawndale.
- 1400 block of South Halsted Street on Mar. 2
- 100 block of South Leavitt Street on Mar. 7
- 7900 block of South LaSalle Street on Mar. 7
- 200 block of North Wells Street on Mar. 7
- 9200 block of South Throop Street on Mar. 14
- 2200 block of West Warren Boulevard on Mar. 15
- 100 block of South Seeley Avenue on Mar. 16
- 2900 block of West Wilcox Street on Mar. 18
- 6600 block of North Hoyne Avenue on Mar. 20
- 1800 block of West Maypole Avenue on Mar. 23
- 700 block of South Claremont Avenue on April 4
- 1500 block of South Drake Avenue on April 5
Police described the robbers as African American males, 15 to 25 years of age, wearing dark clothing and ski masks. The robbers are armed with semi-automatic handguns.
In February, the head of the Chicago branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers told the Tribune that mail carriers in the Chicago area are traumatized, fearing for their lives, following a string of armed robberies and thefts targeting postal workers since last summer.
“It’s a traumatizing experience to have a gun pulled at you in the performance of your duties while servicing the public,” said Elise M. Foster, the president of the union’s Branch 11, who says she represents the local carriers who recently have been victims of assaults. “They’re scared and some don’t even want to return back to work.”
In the most robberies, armed thieves target mail carriers’ master keys. The keys provide access to blue drop-off boxes and to cluster mailboxes. The ongoing robberies raise concerns not only for the safety of the mail carriers but also for the security of the public, whose personal information could be compromised in the hands of the criminals, Foster said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Area Three detectives, 312-744-8263.