Mail carrier robbed at gunpoint in Murray Hill, packages stolen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Investigators are searching for a suspect they say robbed a mail carrier at gunpoint.

According to a police report from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the robbery happened around 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Murray Hill. A mail carrier was stopped at the intersection of Owen Avenue and Corby Street when a masked gunman appeared at her vehicle window and left with several packages.

“It’s pretty scary,” said Carol Scott, who lives up the street. Thankfully, the mail carrier wasn’t hurt.

According to the incident report, the suspect was wearing a grey hoodie and black pants. Police say he demanded something from the mail carrier, but the report conceals what it was.

“We’re not sure exactly what they were targeting,” said postal inspector Adam Schaefer. “But in the past, it’s been, you know, postal property, personal property belonging to the carrier...mail parcels.”

Former JSO director Tom Hackey suspects the gunman was after a key.

“It seems these keys are universal keys to the mailboxes,” he said.

According to the incident report, the mail carrier told the robber she didn’t have what he demanded, and that’s when he took the packages and eventually drove away in a red Toyota with another man.

“The mail carriers are the distributors have quite a bit of funds when you sit back and think about it,” Hackney said. “There are quite a few levels of...government checks that come through every month. There’s times during every month where welfare checks are distributed.”

He said, for decades, thieves have broken into mail trucks to try to get steal checks, but the trend in recent years has been thieves seeking out master keys.

In February, two south Florida men suspected of stealing mail were arrested in St. Johns County. Inside their getaway car, police said they found a stolen master mailbox key, gloves, mask, stolen mail and a gun.

Anyone who has information about the armed robbery Thursday is asked to contact the United States Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.

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I-TEAM and general assignment reporter