Police say CCTV footage from a nearby house shows the suspect following a postman, but the alleged crime happened just outside the camera’s field of view.
COLUMBUS, Ohio. A 63-year-old postman from Columbus told police on Thursday that someone pointed a gun at his back demanding keys to the mail while he was working in south Columbus.
Police say surveillance video from a neighbor’s house showed the suspect following the postman, but the alleged crime happened just outside the camera’s field of view.
Now Columbus Police Department officers are hoping someone will tell them who the suspect is.
According to police, the crime occurred on Thursday at 15:00 at the intersection of Beck and City Park streets in the German village area of Columbus.
“The victim stated that he was near his mail truck when he felt a gun pressed against his back and heard someone say, ‘Keys, come on, give me the keys.’ At this point, the victim gave the suspect a keychain containing multiple USPS keys.”
According to police, the victim was not injured in the robbery.
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This is not the first case of mail theft in the area.
Kim Lewis works at the German Village law firm.
She said she no longer sends checks to customers in the blue box outside because it’s not safe.
“Somehow they get the mail out of the box and cash the checks,” she said.
She showed 10TV’s Kevin Landers copies of counterfeit checks totaling thousands of dollars.
She said she filed a police report and emailed the USPS several times informing them of the problem.
She said that after the mail was stolen, a new lock was installed on the blue mailbox near her office, but she was not sure that it would deter thieves.
“I just can’t believe this is happening,” she said.
10TV reached out to the post office for comment but received no response.
In November, 10TV exposed the issue of mail theft and how scams work. Thieves will steal mail either from a mailbox outside someone’s home or from a blue trash can. Checks found inside the envelopes are “laundered” – that is, the ink has been erased – so the amount and recipient can be replaced. These blank checks are then sold online.
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