Thieves rob letter carrier in Third Ward at gunpoint, stealing USPS keys

CHARLOTTE — Police are searching for the thieves who targeted a letter carrier and robbed her at gunpoint in Uptown Charlotte.

A neighbor captured a picture on his doorbell camera moments before Wednesday’s robbery. It happened just before 4 p.m. in the Third Ward neighborhood on Westbrook Avenue.

Channel 9′s Genevieve Curtis learned the worker was on her route right before that attack.

“I heard sirens, I came up to the window up in my house and looked outside -- there’s half a dozen police cars. And I see the USPS lady,” neighbor Houston Cutshaw told Curtis.

Cutshaw said police filled the street after two suspects armed with a gun robbed the U.S. Postal Service worker. He said investigators were there for hours trying to get footage of the two men in a sedan.

“You wouldn’t think there would be a robbery in the middle of the day, especially with USPS delivery mail,” he said. “It’s just unexpected.”

Cutshaw gave investigators video of that worker delivering his mail just moments before those suspects drove up and robbed her at gunpoint.

“Poor girl, she couldn’t have expected that just delivering mail,” he said. “Probably didn’t have anything too valuable in there, I wouldn’t think, but I don’t know what they were looking for.”

It appears it was the USPS mailbox keys they were after, because the police report says that’s all the suspects stole.

Channel 9 has reported on the alarming spike in U.S. mail carriers being attacked for those master keys allowing thieves to break into mailboxes and steal checks. It’s a problem lawmakers on Capitol Hill are discussing this week.

“Robberies of postal carriers have increased by 78%, resulting in nearly 500 robberies alone in 2022,” said Maryland Rep. Kweisi Mfume.

No injuries were reported in this attack. Curtis asked CMPD for any videos of the suspects or the vehicle in this latest attack.

“Hopefully they got some footage from some doorbells, they can figure out who did this,” Cutshaw said.

Curtis reached out to the U.S. Postal Workers Association for comment, and they shared the following statement:

“This is a very dangerous situation. Postal-related street crime is spreading like wildfire and the Postal Service is fanning the flames by refusing to deploy Postal Police Officers. It seems every day another letter carrier is robbed and there is no sign of it ending anytime soon.

“What will it take for the Postal Service to admit that benching the Postal Police Force was a mistake? It’s actually worse than simply refusing to admit a mistake was made. The Postal Inspection Service is actively fighting against having the ability to deploy PPOs. In other words, the Inspection Service does not want the option to deploy PPOs because it would be indefensible not to deploy PPOs otherwise.

“Can you imagine a law enforcement agency that doesn’t want the ability to deploy its uniformed police force to stop the attacks on the very employees it is sworn to protect? Well you just imagined the Postal Inspection Service.

“Other than mouthing talking point after talking point, the Inspection Service is doing very little to stop the Mail Theft Epidemic. Apparently Postmaster General DeJoy is buying what the Inspection Service is selling. It’s very unfortunate. If not for the fact that I have been a postal employee for almost 30 years — I would never have believed that this level of mismanagement exists.

“Attacks on our Nation’s letter carriers are spiraling out of control. Congress needs to pass HR 3005, the Postal Police Reform Act as soon as possible.”

(WATCH BELOW: Thieves steal from at least 14 mailboxes in Union County; crimes tied to Charlotte area)