ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Two Rochester postal carriers with the U.S.P.S. were robbed on Tuesday, January 31, according to the US Postal Inspection Service.
According to investigators, the two robberies occurred within approximately one hour of each other in two separate incidents.
The first incident occurred on High Point Trail in the town of Irondequoit shortly after 12:30 p.m. while the second occurred in the area of Tubman Way and Clarissa Street in Rochester. In both incidents, officials say the suspects stole equipment from the carriers. However, the carriers were not assaulted or injured.
Kenny Montgomery serves as president for the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 210 based in Rochester.
He says the harassment of postal carriers is becoming more frequent in the city.
“It’s unfortunate, but they’re afraid,” said Montgomery. “I’ve been in the postal business 35 years, and it wasn’t like that 35 years ago.”
While not confirmed, Montgomery believes the two incidents on January 31 involve the same suspects.
“They never brandished a weapon, but the carrier believed they had a weapon. He demanded his key and the carrier said, ‘Whatever you need. Whatever you want.’ The carrier turned it over and walked away and immediately called their supervisor, then 911,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery says similar situations are growing more common for postal carriers in the Rochester area. He says police response, while timely in late January, is not always that way.
“We are trying to negotiate our next contract, which expires in May. We’re trying to make that part of the negotiations to say what the appropriate police response should be versus what it has been,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery calls on the community to be vigilant in supporting postal carriers in their neighborhoods.
“If I could say one thing, I would say the community needs to help out. Years ago, when I was carrying, the community backed you up. If somebody saw somebody messing with the mailman, the community came together and shut it down. We didn’t have to worry about the police coming. You had to worry about the people who lived in the neighborhood. They would have your back,” said Montgomery.
The US Postal Inspection Service is currently investigating both incidents and asks anyone with information to call (877)-876-2455.