Teens arrested for allegedly robbing Melrose mail carrier at gunpoint
The teens allegedly got the idea to steal mail containing checks from TikTok and other sources, the DA’s office said.
Two Somerville teens were arrested for allegedly robbing a Melrose letter carrier at gunpoint last week, officials said.
The 16-year-old boys were charged with armed masked robbery and arraigned Wednesday in juvenile court, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office said in a press release. The robbery happened on Dec. 10 as the letter carrier was delivering mail in the Orchard Lane area.
The teens were sitting on the steps to an Orchard Lane home when the letter carrier pulled up, the DA’s office said. She delivered mail to a home on the street and as she approached the door to her truck, the teens allegedly pointed an airsoft pistol at her, showed her a knife, and demanded postal property, according to the press release.
She complied, and the teens fled but were captured on a nearby home security camera.
Police were able to identify the alleged suspects after reviewing video, witness interviews, and other evidence, the DA’s office said.
Then on Sunday, police saw a suspicious vehicle near a USPS collection box in Melrose and found the teens inside, allegedly in possession of mail and the stolen postal property.
“Investigators further learned that the two males had allegedly heard about the idea to steal mail containing checks through TikTok trends and other places as a way to make money,” the DA’s office said.
Postal robberies are “exceedingly rare considering the number of daily contacts postal employees have with the public at over 31,000 Post Offices and more than 163 million delivery points,” a U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokesperson told Boston.com.
In fiscal year 2021, there were 253 robberies or attempted robberies of postal employees and post offices, according to the spokesperson.
“Occasionally, there are isolated spikes in the number of robberies in a particular area due to the activities of one individual or an organized crime group,” they said.
Armed robbery of a U.S. postal worker or post office can be punishable by up to 25 years in federal prison.
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