MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A break in the case of three postal workers attacked on the job has reportedly led to the arrest of two suspects.
Law enforcement sources confirm to CBS4′s Peter D’Oench that two juveniles have been arrested in two of the cases; a 17-year-old boy for robbing a carrier at gunpoint at this apartment building October 17th on Northeast 6th Avenue, and a 16-year-old boy for the beating and robbery October 7th of a Miami Gardens carrier.
In both cases, the postal carriers walked away from the attacks with minor injuries, but without one important item: their master keys, which opens all the mailboxes, were stolen.
A news conference revealing more details about the arrests is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Carrier Tasha Ushery is relieved about the break in the case.
“They’re making progress,” said Ushery. “That’s good right? Yeah, that’s good.”
Ushery, who’s been with the postal service for the past 11 years, had been hoping that some arrests would be made. She told D’Oench that the attacks on female postal carriers “were just bad.”
While making her rounds in North Miami, she told D’Oench that she had the postal service in order to “serve the community.” She said, “I love my job because it means serving people. The last thing I want to have happen to me is to be attacked. It’s not right.”
The string of attacks has the USPS concerned.
Last year, 60-year old carrier Bruce Parton was killed during a robbery in which someone stole his master-key along with several other items.
“That’s the part I feel the worst about is that folks are just trying to do their jobs and bring mail to their neighborhoods and it’s not safe and they feel it’s not safe to go to work,” said Parton’s daughter Nina.
“I was hoping that when they caught the folks in my father’s case and arrested them that we wouldn’t hear about these things anymore,” said Parton.
She is also pleased that postal inspectors are making progress after posting a $5,000 reward in the latest case.
“I think that’s what it takes to make the neighborhoods safe. It’s important we take a stand,” said Parton. “I am grateful that they are getting results from the neighborhood like we had before and that they are making some arrests.”
“I do hope that anyone with information will come forward and help the postal inspectors do their job,” said Parton.
At the news conference Wednesday morning, postal inspectors will speak about the arrests, the reward and preventive measures that have been taken to curb the attacks on the carriers.
Sources say police are looking for more suspects. It’s not known if there’s been an arrest of the postal carrier on October 14th and while a 16-year-old suspect has been arrested in the Miami Gardens case, the arrest report quotes the carrier as saying that two suspect assaulted her and robbed her.
It’s not known if the three crimes are connected. The descriptions of the attackers in the three incidents differ so police are trying to determine if they are related.
Nestor Gonzalez, a carrier for 17 years, told D’Oench that he’s very concerned and keeps his guard up more than ever.
“You’ve got to be careful on your job,” said Gonzalez. “Careful of your surroundings, people who look strange and who are following me, that’s what I look for. This is a sign of the times we live in. I feel sorry for those carriers. This could have been me.”
A source in law enforcement told D’Oench that investigators are trying to see if the suspects were all part of the same crime ring.
“I hope they catch them and put them away,” said Gonzalez. “We are out there to do good for people and not hurt people. And all this is happening for a key. It’s not worth it.”
U.S. Postal Inspector Blad Rojo expressed his concerns after the October 17th attack. “We have revved up in terms of violence,” said Rojo. “Now a gun was displayed. This is definitely escalating.”
The Postal Service has set up a hotline for information about the attacks. The number to call is 877-876-2455 then hit option #2.