Since it’s the holidays, delivery personnel will be rushing to deliver Christmas gifts while watchful Grinches watch them.
Delivery drivers endure threats as they manage the rush of supplies and gifts, as evidenced by recent thefts and carjackings. Over the past month, there have been attacks on drivers for UPS, FedEx, and Amazon.
According to the Postal Police Officers Association, assaults on postal workers have increased by 231% in the last three years, making the U.S. Postal Service particularly susceptible.
412 mail couriers were robbed in 2020, according to data from the Postal Service. There have been 305 documented staff robberies in only the first half of this year. The United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) reports that there was a significant surge in the number of reported occurrences of armed robberies of letter carriers from 36 to 154 in 2021.
At “Enough is Enough” demonstrations organised by the National Association of Letter Carriers, mail carriers and delivery drivers in Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Phoenix, San Francisco, and other cities throughout the previous two months sought safer conditions for delivery workers on their routes.
The “arrow keys” used by postal workers to unlock most mailboxes have recently been targeted by thieves, according to U.S. Postal Inspection Service National Public Information Officer Michael Martel, who spoke with Fox News Digital. This is because internet guides on how to use and identify these keys have become widely available.
He claimed that burglars may steal prescription drugs and other valuables, as well as financial papers like Social Security checks, and use those keys to conduct fraud. It has been reported that the keys have a street value of thousands of dollars.
According to Martel, USPIS expanded its “Project Safe Delivery” programme in May of this year due to an upsurge in mail theft and robberies.
According to Martel, the programme included the installation of 6,500 more electronic locks and over 10,000 mail collecting boxes with updated security features by the agency.
Additionally, since May, over 530 arrests for mail theft and 109 arrests for robberies have been made nationwide by USPIS and law enforcement agencies.
“There is certainly increased opportunity for mail theft to occur around the holiday season,” Martel said Thursday. “The Postal Service and project safe delivery will continue through the holidays to keep American mail and our employees safe.”
According to a press release from the agency, Devan Flax, 20, was taken into custody on Tuesday with two armed robberies of USPS carriers in Chicago.
According to the agency, the individual robbed two mail carriers on Saturday and Tuesday at gunpoint.
The gun used in the robberies and two stolen postal keys were seized upon his arrest. Flax was accused with three charges of aggravated unauthorised use of a weapon, one case of aggravated robbery, and two counts of armed robbery.
According to Martel, criminals also steal parcels from curbside boxes and carriers’ trucks while they’re on the road.
The most recent incident was an Amazon driver in New Haven, Connecticut, who was held up early on Wednesday while unloading products from his truck by four carjackers, one of whom was armed.
The driver was ordered to get into the truck by the armed man, who was pointing his firearm at him. After gathering the parcels in the car, the men left the area. The driver was shaken but unharmed, according to the New Haven Police Department.
A carjacker shot a FedEx driver in Colorado two days prior, the Denver Police Department informed Fox News Digital.
The victim was taken from the North Vine Street crime scene to a hospital where he received treatment for non-life-threatening injuries after officers arrived at the scene at 4:30 p.m. on Monday. Police reported that they later located his stolen truck on Garfield Street.
“The case remains under investigation, including if anything was stolen from the vehicle,” a department public information officer wrote in a Thursday email. “No arrests have been made.”
Around 10:43 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning in Chicago, two armed individuals abducted a second FedEx driver from the Bucktown neighbourhood.
On North Honore Street, the two delivery drivers—a 32-year-old man and his 50-year-old partner—were allegedly told to get down. The items in the truck were subsequently moved by the two robbers to their own silver Infiniti SUV.
In an earlier incident on Chicago’s West Carroll Avenue, six masked gunmen arrived in a black Jeep, struck a man in the back of the head with a weapon, and then took off with the victim’s silver Infiniti SUV, according to police. According to CWB Chicago, the department is looking into whether there is a connection between the two incidents.
FedEx stated that “the safety of [its] team members and the security of [its] customers’ shipments” were their primary priority in reaction to the occurrences, a FedEx spokeswoman told Fox News Digital.
“We have rigorous safety and security programs in place intended to ensure team members are safe and customer property is protected,” the company representative wrote in a Wednesday email.
The armed carjacking of a female UPS driver during the day was caught on camera by doorbell cameras in Maryland earlier this month.
The Prince George’s County Police Department reports that the Glenarden attack on Elk Avenue happened on November 10 at approximately 2:00 p.m.
The motorist is heard screaming in the video that she was surrounded by multiple people and that someone took her brown pickup at gunpoint. Then, she is seen using her mobile to contact the police.
In the Ring doorbell video that FOX 5 was able to get, the UPS worker could be heard telling dispatchers, “They just pulled a gun out on me.”
The neighbour who first claimed to have seen a couple fighting outside his house was the one whose camera caught the footage.
“It’s very brazen, in the middle of the day,” the man told FOX 5. “Most of the homes have cameras, so to do that right in front of everybody’s house who has front view cameras, it’s a little unnerving.”
“You hope things get a little better,” the neighbour continued. “Maybe it’s the climate, but it’s unfortunate — you have to be vigilant and watch your back.”
In reaction to the apparent spike, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Dick Durbin, D-Ill, proposed the Postal Police Reform Act on Tuesday with bipartisan support.
The proposed law would let Postal Police Officers to operate and make arrests off USPS property, as they are currently limited to working on USPS premises.
“Our nation has seen an unacceptable increase in postal crime, and due to current restrictions, Postal Police Officers are unable to carry out important public safety duties,” Collins wrote in a press release. “By allowing Postal Police Officers to work beyond Postal Service property, this bipartisan legislation recognizes the urgent need to protect our mail carriers and better secure our entire postal system.”