Two postal inspectors walked a beat like old-fashioned cops in Pompano Beach Tuesday, asking for the public's help as authorities search for a suspect who they say robbed a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier at gunpoint while wearing a "Scream" mask.
The robbery happened around 2:40 p.m. Monday as the letter carrier was delivering mail in the 900 block of Northeast 12th Avenue, the USPS said Tuesday.
According to U.S. Postal Inspector Ivan Ramirez, the suspect demanded the mailman's truck keys. The letter carrier complied but a scuffle ensued and the suspect took off running, said Ramirez, who passed out flyers Tuesday.
"We can't say for certain, but we suspect he was after the master keys," Ramirez said.
Postal carriers have master keys that give them access to the mailbox panels in apartment and office buildings. There's a reason thieves want those keys.
"We've been pretty much a hotbed for identity theft and it's been very easy for these scammers because once they steal your identity they apply for all these benefits and services, credit, what have you and it takes a while for financial institutions to figure out what's going on and at that point they've already taken the money and run," Ramirez explained.
The postal police are working this case hard because they don't want mail carriers to become targets.
"It's unbelievable, I never expected that, just heard about it yesterday, I was shocked, couldn't understand what they would get from him," said Sal Candela, who lives around the corner from the spot at which the robbery took place.
The suspect is described as about 5-foot-10 with a thin build, and was wearing a hoodie in addition to the "Scream" mask, the USPS said.
The USPS is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call the USPS at 1-877-876-2455.
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