A masked, scooter-riding man robbed a San Francisco mail carrier of his postal keys in the Western Addition neighborhood on Wednesday, according to a U.S. Postal Service spokesperson.
The suspect approached the mail carrier near 819 Lyon St. around 11:20 a.m. and allegedly threatened the carrier with a Taser-like weapon. The mail carrier handed over his keys, after which the suspect fled on a scooter toward Hayes Street.
“In San Francisco where there are a lot of apartment group mailboxes, it could be thousands of postal customers [at risk],” said Matthew Norfleet of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The Postal Service released surveillance footage stills of the suspect. The images show a man in a bright orange jacket with what appears to be a Warriors logo on the back. He was also wearing what appears to be a patterned ski mask.
Mail carriers are increasingly targeted by criminals seeking documents that could be used to steal others' identities, and the issue is especially prevalent in the Bay Area, federal officials said.
In March, an estimated 70,000 San Francisco residents’ mail was at risk after relay boxes—green-colored receptacles that look like mailboxes and are used to store mail between carrier routes—were broken into in the Mission District.
Rewards are available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for mail crimes—up to $10,000 for mail theft and up to $50,000 for robbery of a postal worker.
If you see suspicious activity, you are urged to call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 or 911.
Liz Lindqwister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org