Getaway driver in Antioch mail-carrier robbery charged by feds

A man accused of being the getaway driver in the robbery of a postal carrier in Antioch has been arrested and charged in federal court.

Robert Bell Jr., 19, of Antioch is the man behind the wheel of a Nissan Altima that was seen picking up another man shortly after the postal worker was robbed, authorities say.

Court records say investigators found photos of Bell wearing a postal uniform - even though he isn't an employee - and in possession of a fake ID with his photo on it but someone else's name.

"The sophistication of the individuals or groups of individuals that are responsible for these robberies, it's taken all kinds of different forms," said U.S. Postal Inspector Jeff Fitch.

Fitch says investigators are working around the clock to crack down on suspects like Bell.

"The safety of the letter carrier is so critical. They need to be able to go out and deliver the mail and not worry about being robbed and assaulted," Fitch said.

Court documents say Bell's father owns the Nissan, and that a search of Bell's cell phone included photos - taken just five minutes after the robbery - showing the man who robbed the carrier with a stolen postal key that allows access to community mailboxes and collection boxes. 

Two days later, investigators say Bell's phone took a photo of someone stealing mail from a collection box in Antioch.

Less than two weeks after that, his phone had photos of postal keys just 20 minutes after a carrier was robbed in San Francisco's Sunnydale neighborhood, authorities say.

Investigators say other photos show Bell stealing mail near McLaren Park in San Francisco in June. The robber is wearing black sweatpants with white lettering and came out of a white Chevy Camaro, a match to surveillance video of the car and pants seen in other photos that read "That's an awful lot of cough syrup."

And in another bust, Michael Morgan has been charged with twice breaking into the Discovery Bay post office. Authorities say they found footage showing Morgan getting out of his Chevy Silverado truck and stealing from postal boxes.

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and