A mail carrier in Youngstown had his keys stolen by an armed man while on his route Wednesday.

According to the report, the carrier was delivering mail on foot in the area of Rush Boulevard and Hilton Avenue around 5 p.m.

The mail carrier told police a light-skinned Black man in his mid-30s approached him there and said "Don't die for a key bro."

The USPS employee believed the man was joking until the man said "Don't play with me." At that point, the mail carrier put his hands up and told the suspect that his keys were inside his van.

According to the report, the suspect told the mail carrier again "Don't die for a key bro" and revealed that he had a gun tucked in his waistband. The suspect then walked with the mail carrier to his van.

Police say the mail carrier opened the van's door and the suspect told him "If you try anything, you're dead." He gave the suspect the collection key which unlocks the street mailboxes and the suspect ran away, heading west on Hilton Avenue.

On Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced it is offering a reward of up to $150,000 for information leading to
the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) in the armed robbery of a United States Postal Service letter carrier.


That trend has continued in the Mahoning Valley. In December 2023, mail carriers were robbed for their "Arrow Keys" in Boardman and Youngstown. The Youngstown robbery happened on December 11 on Kensington Avenue. That's when two masked men pulled up next to the mail carrier and demanded his keys. When the mail carrier went to give them the keys to his truck, they said "Nah, you know what we want" and took the arrow key.

Two days later, a mail carrier was assaulted and robbed of his arrow key in the middle of the day on Melbourne Avenue in Boardman. The three unidentified males tackled the postal carrier and demanded his key.

Another mail carrier, Jonte Davis, was shot and killed in Warren on March 2, 2024.

On Wednesday, Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Greg Landsman (D-OH) introduced the bipartisan Protect our Letter Carriers Act to address the rise of violent crime against mail carriers.

According to a release, there have been more than 2,000 attempted or committed robberies against postal workers nationwide.

The bill would address the outdated collection boxes and arrow keys, ensure the Department of Justice prosecutes crimes against letter carriers by designating an assistant in every U.S. Attorney's office to supervise the investigation into alleged offenses against letter carriers, and amend sentencing guidelines for any assault or robbery committed against a letter carrier.