As robberies of postal carriers skyrocket in the Bay Area and nationwide, the Postal Service is up in arms over one suspect who committed an armed robbery of a mail carrier and only got a 30-day sentence.

This week brings the news of yet another robbery of a postal carrier in Oakland that occurred March 2 on the 400 block of Euclid Avenue. The US Postal Service is offering a $150,000 reward for information on this suspect, after we saw robberies last year of postal carriers in SF’s Western Addition, Visitacion Valley, and Nob Hill.

This is not just a Bay Area issue. KTVU reports on a Freedom of Information Act request by the Associated Press that found a 30% increase in mail carrier robberies last year nationwide, and the number of these robberies where the postal carrier was injured doubled during that period. Indeed, some of these robberies are violent, and the robber is armed.  

One such case is generating a new round of outrage, as a postal robbery suspect pleaded guilty to the crime and to holding “a gun to a postal carrier's head,” but was sentenced to only 30 days by a San Francisco federal judge, according to the AP. Sure, it’s 30 days in a federal prison. But that stunningly light sentence has drawn the ire of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (and yes, he is still Postmaster General).

"It is simply unacceptable that a criminal was sentenced to a mere 30 days for threatening a letter carrier at gunpoint and stealing his personal possessions, as well as both the public's mail and packages," DeJoy said in a statement. "This sends a concerning message of encouragement to our nation’s criminals and a message of disregard to our loyal public servants, who deserve better protection and reassurance that the law will take crimes against them seriously."

I never thought I’d say this, but Louis DeJoy has a point. Violently attacking a federal employee, and with a loaded gun at that, should get the book thrown at you. That’s just how America is, and rightfully so. Moreover, these robberies are generally made with the intent of stealing the postal keys, which is clear intent to commit further thefts. (Those keys can be used to access other postal boxes, and even residences).

That key system is frankly quite antiquated, and modernizing that system is something that’s long overdue. And the AP adds in that report that there’s a bill before Congress to digitize those keys, so they can be immediately disabled once stolen, and therefore have no value to criminals after they've been pilfered.

Related: San Francisco Man Indicted on Felony Charges for Firing Gun at U.S. Postal Worker [SFNews]

Image: Trinity Nguyen via Unsplash