25 Investigates: Memo details other letter carrier attacks

A law enforcement intelligence memo obtained by 25 Investigates details five robberies of US Postal Carriers in Boston since late summer.  Three postal carriers were targeted during a span of two weeks in August.  In one incident, a suspect entered the back of a USPS truck and reportedly demanded the carrier’s keys.  Postal employees carry master or arrow keys that can open dozens of collection boxes in a geographic area.

Two postal carriers were targeted on October 27th, according to the memo and a robber got away with an arrow key that “opens all postal boxes” in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston.  The suspect pinned a carrier against a garage before running away in the direction of George Wright Golf Course.

There have been 2600 attacks on carriers nationwide from 2019 through the first half of 2020, according to data from the USPS.  Robbers seek arrow keys for package theft and check fraud.  In July, 25 Investigates reported on a spike in mail theft and check fraud.

Frank Albergo, National President of the Postal Police Officers Association (PPOA) tracks carrier attacks across the country.  He said, “Boston is a city that mail theft until recently hasn’t really been that much of an issue. But in the last few months it’s been exploding.”

Albergo said postal police officers used to protect carriers on routes but he said the USPS stripped the force of that power in 2020.  He said postal police have been confined to post offices and postal sorting facilities.

“It’s frustrating because I know PPOs (postal police officers) can make a difference.   A lot of this is because of a blunder on part of the Postal Service,” he said.   “They publicly announced that postal police don’t have any authority to make an arrest. So basically, they’re inviting crime.”

The US Postal Inspection Service did not respond to an email about the Boston attacks before deadline.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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