Monday, November 29, 2004

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet...But Bullets?

There's a myth that the only thing postal workers have to fear is other postal workers or anthrax. Actually, like any worker who spends time in the public carrying valuable materials, postal workers are increasingly victims of violence.

Twice in the past month, robbers have targeted East Bay letter carriers, including a Nov. 10 shooting in Oakland, where the victim was gunned down after he submitted to his assailants.

Less than two weeks later, an El Cerrito postal carrier was robbed of her personal belongings as she delivered mail at an apartment complex on San Pablo Avenue.

The incidents have raised a red flag at the U.S. Postal Inspectors Office, the law enforcement arm of the agency, because the carriers -- not the mail -- have become the targets, said Postal Inspector Jeff Fitch.