CHICAGO — The men and women who deliver mail across the City of Chicago have become a target of repeated robberies and attacks.
Mail handlers, like Patrick Gibbons, are fed up that friends and colleagues live in fear while doing their job.
“It has never gotten this bad,” Gibbons said. “The criminals are so brash they’re stealing other people’s checks, mail.”
The concern is alarming for the National Association of Letter Carriers, NALC Branch 11 Chicago.
President Elise Foster’s union represents more than 4,800 letter carriers and retirees.
Foster said there have been 12 postal workers robbed at gunpoint so far this year.
“It’s one too many, just one many too many,” Foster said. “Just last week there was two. The week before that there was two or three.”
Foster is referring to the incidents in Galewood and still under investigation by the Chicago Police Department.
The first happened on Jan. 17 in the 1600 block of Sayre Avenue and the second incident happened on Jan. 31 in the 1700 block of New England Avenue.
The letter carriers weren’t hurt, but a CPD District 25 sergeant said the man did get away with one set of arrow keys.
The man is described as being about 6 feet tall and was last seen wearing bifocal glasses, a black hooded sweatshirt, pants and fuzzy slippers.
To ensure safety and security, Gibbons believes there needs to be significant changes to get ahead of the issue.
“I want more police presence, I want more cameras so my brothers and sisters in the postal office feel safer when doing a service to the public,” Gibbons said.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering a reward of up to $50,000 to anyone who can help police arrest and convict the people who committed the crimes.