USPS cracks down on letter carrier robberies
by Rockwell Sands @

USPIS Cracks Down on Letter Carrier Robberies, Other Postal Crimes

USPS and its law enforcement branch announce joint initiative to crack down on crimes against USPS and its employees, such as letter carrier robberies and mail theft

After a federal district court recently handed down a 30-day prison sentence for an individual found guilty of robbing a letter carrier at gunpoint in San Francisco, USPS and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced a crackdown on postal-related crimes such as mail theft, letter carrier robberies, assaulting USPS employees and contractors, and tampering with USPS property.

Arrests for Letter Carrier Robberies Are Up 73% Year Over Year, According to the USPIS

According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS)—the law enforcement branch of the U.S. Postal Service—the agency has made over 1,200 arrests related to letter carrier robberies and mail theft in the United States since May 2023. In the fiscal year 2024, the number of arrests USPIS has made is reportedly 73% higher than the same period last year.

USPIS noted that criminals target letter carriers to rob them of their arrow keys, which open blue USPS collection boxes. Perpetrators also reportedly rob letter carriers to steal mail and packages, which they then use to commit financial crimes such as altering checks and check fraud.

Postmaster General DeJoy Speaks on the Crimes Against Letter Carriers

Postmaster General DeJoy expressed frustration that the 30-day sentence the individual received for robbing a letter carrier in San Francisco was too light, despite the individual threatening the letter carrier at gunpoint, stealing the mail and packages he was delivering, and stealing his possessions.

In a statement in response to the sentencing, DeJoy said the following:

“This sends a concerning message of encouragement to our nation’s criminals and a message of disregard to our loyal public servants, who deserve better protection and reassurance that the law will take crimes against them seriously. America’s postal workers are entitled to feel protected as they go about their public service mission, and at a minimum should be able to take solace in knowing that the law protects them against crime as they perform their duties, and that any such crimes will be taken seriously by the courts.”

USPS & USPIS Launched a Joint Initiative Called “Project Safe Delivery” to Protect Postal Employees

In a press release, USPIS announced a joint initiative with the Postal Service called “Project Safe Delivery” to protect postal employees. As part of the initiative, postal inspectors have reportedly conducted targeted law enforcement “surges” in various parts of the U.S., such as Chicago, San Francisco, and cities throughout Ohio.

In addition to USPIS working with law enforcement to make arrests, the Postal Service has made “significant” investments in increasing the physical security of its mail receptacles and blue collection boxes. These investments include the “hardening” of blue collection boxes and the installation of electronic locking mechanisms in mail receptacles. Postal Service leadership said that, since May 2023, the agency has rolled out thousands of hardened blue collection boxes and electronic locking mechanisms in mail receptacles in areas where postal-related crimes are high.

USPIS Increases Rewards for Information on Postal Crimes

Another part of the initiative is an increase in monetary rewards for information that helps USPIS solve crimes related to the Postal Service and its employees. USPIS reportedly now offers up to $100,000 for information on crimes involving mail theft or USPS property. It also offers up to $250,000 in reward money for leads in the murder or manslaughter of a USPS employee or postal contractor, as well as up to $150,000 for information related to letter carrier robberies or assaults against them.

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