Armed robbers assault mailmen for ‘arrow’ keys – WSOC TV

CHARLOTTE – Channel 9 has reported a number of instances over the previous 12 months of thieves focusing on postal staff whereas they have been delivering mail. Most, if not all, of those robberies occurred in broad daylight.

Criminals goal mailmen’s keys, known as “arrow keys,” to allow them to go round, open large blue mailboxes, in addition to cluster in neighborhoods and house complexes, and steal mail, cash and identities.

In a single case final 12 months, officers say a thief held up a postman on Music Corridor Method in SouthEnd, put a gun to his face and stole his wrench. Investigators supplied a reward and ended up arresting Kyree Corbett. They are saying he and accomplices spent months serving to themselves to mailboxes and almost $2 million in checks.

Just a few months in the past, Fort Mill police say a person stole an arrow key and broke into mailboxes on the submit workplace on Tom Corridor Road. Eventually verify this month, no arrests have but been made within the case.

And in one other case, federal prosecutors say somebody held a postal employee at gunpoint in 2020 and that Terrell Freeman, and two different individuals, used the stolen key to open mailboxes within the Charlotte space for almost a 12 months and stole 86 checks value. 3 million {dollars}. All three have been sentenced to a number of years in jail.

Investigators say a few of these checks belonged to Piedmont Stairworks, a northwest Charlotte firm that makes residential stairs.

Jim McGee owns the enterprise and says the thieves stole about 25 checks value greater than $138,000.

“That is fairly important,” he informed Motion 9’s Jason Stoogenke. “For a small enterprise, proper, to have that a lot cash disappear … that was an enormous deal for us.”

McGee’s workforce had a multitude to type out. “It has been a very long time. Loads of telephone calls,” he mentioned.

McGee says Piedmont Stairworks has modified the best way he does enterprise. “You must have the ability to write a verify, signal it, put it in an envelope and mail it and never give it some thought once more. However now there are eight different steps that need to occur after that … after you determine to pay anyone,” he mentioned. “We do not do arduous checks anymore. There are zero arduous checks. Now we have to pay a 3rd social gathering to chop all our checks so that they’re liable for that.”

Plus, he says, his firm pays for one more service to confirm the checks, which provides as much as much more money and time.

Motion 9 requested the US Postal Inspection Service what number of raids the Carolinas have had in recent times. He mentioned 44 from early 2019 via the primary half of this 12 months, a minimum of 14 within the Charlotte space.

“It is a brazen crime,” mentioned US Postal Inspector Rick Johnsten.

He says the Postal Service is engaged on new insurance policies and procedures to stop assaults on mail carriers, however it could be tough to guard all of them on their routes.

“We ship to 150 million addresses a day. My company shouldn’t be large enough if we need to additionally examine and monitor postmen on the identical time. So we now have to prioritize,” he mentioned.

However the head of the Affiliation of Postal Police Officers, Frank Albergo, disagrees.

“In August 2020, the inspection service launched an inner memo that mainly … sat us down, sat us down. We have been not capable of shield postal staff and we have been not capable of do these proactive mail theft prevention patrols. And since then, mail theft has exploded,” he mentioned.

As well as — he says — there was a labor dispute that led to new duties for the postal police, particularly patrolling postal services, not the streets.

“We additionally journey from submit workplace to submit workplace, and we are going to patrol… foyer. However there may be not a lot crime in postal lobbies,” he mentioned.

So, in case your mail will get stolen, maintain a detailed eye in your financial institution accounts, freeze your credit score (if you have not already), and comply with these eight methods to guard your self:

  • Accumulate mail shortly. Don’t depart it within the mailbox for a very long time.
  • If you cannot, please use the USPS standby service.
  • Go away mail in blue packing containers close to assortment instances. [USPS calls them “blue boxes.”]
  • Higher but, drop off the mail straight on the submit workplace when you’re fearful.
  • In the event you anticipate cash within the mail and you do not obtain it, do not hesitate: notify the sender instantly.
  • Don’t ship money.
  • In the event you transfer, make certain everybody necessary has your new tackle.
  • Use gel pens to write down checks. They’re arduous to clear, particularly the 207 uni-ball. [Yes, uni-ball is all lower case.] You may get them virtually in all places and they’re fairly low-cost – solely about $2 every.

Click on right here for extra ideas. In the event you assume somebody has stolen your mail, report it by clicking right here or by calling the US Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.

(SEE BELOW: Postman Credited with Saving Aged Man’s Life in North Carolina)

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