CHICAGO — The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering a $150,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the man who robbed a mail carrier in West Town last week. It’s the third six-figure reward the agency has offered in November as investigators try to put a lid on violent holdups of the city’s postal workers.
Three surveillance images released by postal inspectors today show a man who robbed a mail carrier near 925 North Francisco around 12:28 p.m. on November 10. The man demanded property from the mail carrier and escaped on foot, the agency said in a reward bulletin.
The announcement said the robber is Black, about 5’6″ tall, and 45 to 50 years old. He wore clear prescription glasses, a black hoodie, a black baseball cap, and a black surgical mask with faded blue jeans.
Tips can be shared with postal inspectors at 1-877-876-2455. Refer to case number 4186476.
Earlier this month, postal inspectors offered a pair of $150,000 rewards for information about suspects in two other robberies.
One of those crimes occurred about a block from the Chicago Police Department academy at about 11:30 a.m. on November 26, 2022. Two men, both wearing masks, rolled onto the 1300 block of West Van Buren a dark SUV, pulled a gun on a postal worker, and demanded the carrier’s work keys, a CPD report said. After getting what they wanted, the men told the postal worker to run away.
Stolen postal service master keys, also known as “arrow keys,” are used by theft crews that steal checks, credit cards, and documents to fuel identity theft operations. Some thieves who use the stolen keys even wear postal service uniform parts as a disguise.
Postal inspectors released video images of the two suspects running and of their SUV, a gray 2018 Jeep Compass bearing Indiana dealer tag 69304B. One of the suspects is a Black man between 20 and 25 years old who stands 5’7″ tall. He wore a black ski mask, a dark hoodie, and blue jeans.
Another reward is available for information about whoever robbed another mail carrier in the 5300 block of West Washington on September 15, 2022. Chicago police said last year that a man followed a postal worker into a vestibule and robbed them at gunpoint around 1 p.m.
Officials say the robber was described as a Black male between 20 and 25 years old who stood about 6’1″ tall. He wore a red hoodie and black mask and is believed to have fled in this early-2000s silver Audi sedan.
The Van Buren robbery case number is 3911079, and the Washington case number is 3832838. Officials said all information would be kept strictly confidential.
After last year’s robbery on Van Buren, a CWB source explained that mail thieves are “part of a larger operation that uses stolen mail to open checking accounts and launder stolen checks,” among other crimes.
In one tricky scheme known as “check washing,” criminals use common chemicals to erase ink on stolen checks, then write the check for a large sum. The fraudulent checks are then either cashed or sold online.