Postal carrier pistol-whipped, robbed in Lafayette

A U.S. postal carrier was pistol-whipped and robbed Monday as she made he rounds in Lafayette, authorities said.

The victim was attacked outside an office complex on Camino Diablo, off Highway 24.

"A letter carrier was assaulted and robbed on her route at about 12:30 p.m. this afternoon," said Matthew Norfleet, a U.S. postal inspector. 

KTVU has learned that the victim was apparently followed by two men, at least one of whom was armed with a gun. 

She was hit in the head with the weapon.

"She was very shocked and traumatized, and she had blood all over her shirt.  The ambulance came and took her away," said Chris Finn, who works in the building.

The postal carrier was taken to a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Finn said the victim regularly delivers mail to the complex on Mondays. 

"Very nice woman. She did have this round for a while and she just seemed very nice," Finn said.

Witnesses say they were after her postal keys. Thieves can use these master keys to access mailboxes to steal mail.

"This is an unacceptable way to treat people. Postal inspectors work hard, and we want that message to get out there," Norfleet said.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering a $50,000 reward for tips that lead to arrests in the case.