The U.S. Postal Service is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of three people involved in the armed robbery of a North Hollywood mail carrier.
The robbery occurred about 10:20 a.m. Tuesday in the 5500 block of Vineland Avenue, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The mail carrier was not injured.
Surveillance footage of Tuesday’s robbery in the San Fernando Valley shows one robber pointing a gun at the letter carrier. He is described as a slim, Black male, approximately 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet 2 inches tall, about 23 to 35 years old and wearing all black clothing.
The video released by USPIS shows a second person following close behind. He is wearing a white face mask, gray hooded sweatshirt, dark jeans and white sneakers. The third person was described only as the driver of a black BMW, possibly a 2019 X6 SUV with black rims.
Police were alerted to the robbery at 10:29 a.m., said Norma Eisenman, an LAPD spokesperson. She said the robbers fled north on Vineland Avenue after removing keys from the mailman’s truck. The USPIS could not confirm what postal property was stolen.
Security camera footage from around 3 a.m. July 12 shows two people stealing mail from a Studio City apartment building.
Later that night, a man wearing a different black hoodie and white shoes used a key to enter a Studio City apartment building about four miles away, where he unlocked a mailbox and stuffed a bag with the residents’ mail, according to security camera footage and the property manager. The theft was captured on security camera footage shared by the on-site apartment building manager.
The same man returned to the same building a few hours later, around 3 a.m. on July 12, and unlocked the mailbox and filled a bag with more mail, according to the camera footage and the property manager. The security footage shows a second thief accompanying him, this one wearing a gray sweatshirt, black beanie and black face mask.
The robberies are being investigated by the USPIS, according to U.S. Postal Inspector Michael Martel.
“We can’t say at this time that there is a connection between the two, but Postal Inspection Service will investigate all instances of mail theft around the area and look for any connections,” he said.
The robbery is just one incident amid a nationwide surge of letter carrier robberies that recently prompted the Postal Service to expand its crime prevention measures.
Martel encouraged the public to look out for mail carriers and to report any suspicious activity.
“If you see somebody following your letter carrier, call 911 and then report it to the Postal Inspector’s 1-877 number,” he said. “Postal workers are our key to the American economy and they deliver to all of us in all of our neighborhoods six days a week typically. It’s really all of our duty to help keep them safe.”
In May, the USPS and USPIS announced Project Safe Delivery, a joint initiative to halt postal-related crimes. Crime reduction approaches include the installation of 12,000 high-security blue collection boxes in “high security risk areas,” as well as 49,000 electronic locks to replace “antiquated” locks.
Anyone with information regarding Tuesday’s robbery is urged to call the USPIS at (877) 876-2455.