Feds charge man with robbing postal worker of master keys (while on pretrial release for possessing a stolen postal service master key)

CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors have charged a man with robbing a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier last November. And, guess what? At the time of the robbery, the guy was on pretrial release for allegedly burglarizing a U.S. Postal Service mailbox.

You may remember Richard Thompson. We introduced you to him last May after U.S. Postal Inspectors and Chicago police allegedly caught him red-handed as he broke into a USPS collection box in the West Loop.

Richard Thompson, inset, and images of the robber distributed by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. (Chicago Police Department, USPIS)

At 3 a.m. on May 2, 2023, postal inspectors watched as Thompson, 52, used a master key to open the blue mailbox on the corner of Racine and Adams, prosecutors said as they filed state charges against him for possessing burglary tools and theft. Officials said he admitted to having the key and using it to access the box.

Thompson went home on electronic monitoring, but Judge Steven Watkins decided to remove his ankle monitor on August 31, according to court records.

Federal officials now say that about three months later, on November 10, Thompson robbed a mail carrier of their postal service master keys as they made their rounds in the 900 block of North Francisco. Postal inspectors had been offering a $150,000 reward for information that led to the robber’s arrest. It’s unclear if anyone collected the reward or if investigators identified Thompson on their own.

He is now charged with a federal charge of robbery of a Postal Service employee, a crime that carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years. Thompson continues to fight state charges related to the West Loop burglary allegations.

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