MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Snow, rain, heat and the darkness of the night may have stopped them. But the increase in mail carrier robberies is currently a major problem for the US Postal Service. According to the US Postal Inspection Service, armed robberies of postal workers have quadrupled in the past four years.
The latest robbery victim is a Memphis postal worker who was held up at gunpoint in broad daylight, a crime that rocked the postal service and devastated the area where it happened, officials said.
At Kevin Phipps’ Cordova cabin near Houston Levee and Macon, he and his neighbors were stunned by what happened Thursday. Investigators and witnesses say a gunman robbed a mail truck outside Phipps’ home around 2 a.m.
“It’s a horrible feeling! And it makes you feel unsafe, to be honest with you,” Phipps told Action News 5.
The U.S. Postal Service released video of the suspect vehicle, a silver sedan, driving away from the crime scene in reverse. USPS and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office are currently investigating and told Action News 5 the suspect is a black male with a light complexion and a light beard, 6′1″ to 6′2″ with a medium build and weighs between 180 and 190 pounds.
“I think they should be punished to the full extent,” Phipps said.
According to data compiled by NBC News and the Associated Press, mail carrier robberies nationwide increased from 80 in 2018 to 261 in 2021 and 496 in 2022.
“The National Association of Letter Carriers is outraged and outraged by the attacks, armed robberies and even murders that America’s mail carriers are increasingly facing while delivering the mail,” union vice president Paul Barner told The Associated Press, adding, “These attacks are completely unacceptable. ” .”
The attack on this Memphis postal worker only adds to Kevin Phipps’ growing concern about crime in the Bluff City.
“Usually I’m in town doing a lot and going to a lot of things, but I’ve kept it to a minimum because I’m not sure, you know?” said Phipps, “You go to the grocery store and anything can happen. You go to church and they break into cars. it’s sad. Sad to see the city I love. Something needs to be done, and soon.”
A USPS spokesperson told Action News 5 that the letter carrier is doing well, but what a rough start to his first week on the job.
Outraging a postal worker or stealing mail is a federal crime that carries significant jail time and no parole in the federal system.
In fact, a 21-year-old from Memphis, Sidney Poitier Pilcher Jr. under the name Slimy Sidd, was arrested for multiple robberies of letter carriers. A judge sentenced him to nine years in prison without parole this week.
If you know anything about Thursday’s robbery of a postal worker in the 10100 block of Whitcomb Lane in Cordova, you’re asked to call the United States Postal Service at 877-876-2455.
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