SAN FRANCISCO - Two mail carriers were attacked on the job this week in San Francisco, and it's the latest in what authorities are calling a troubling trend for postal workers.
Both cases happened in the Mission District earlier this week, and both mail couriers are not facing serious medical injuries.
But thieves did get away with mail and mailbox keys. Federal investigators are now offering a $150,000 reward for any information related to the attacks.
One of the attacks happened on Tuesday afternoon and in video of the incident, the postal worker's screams could be heard during the assault and robbery.
The U.S. Postal Service said that the attack happened near 26th Street and San Jose Avenue.
Federal investigators are on the lookout for a gray-colored car that carried at least two people when it fled the scene.
A second robbery took place near the corner of 23rd and Hampshire Streets around 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, across the street from San Francisco General Hospital.
The most frustrating part of these crimes is that mail is mostly useless to criminals unless it contains cash, checks or other valuables, U.S. Postal Inspector Matthew Norfleet told KTVU.
"Stealing mail is not a smart crime, no one is doing this because it's a good idea, these are criminals doing something reckless and dangerous. They're probably not going to benefit as much as they think they are," Norfleet said.
Inspectors have been making arrests.
Authorities say a man robbed a mail carrier of postal keys near 23rd Avenue and East 29th Street in Oakland. He then left in a Lincoln Town Car, which was also used in mail thefts in San Francisco. The car was an apparent match to a vehicle in a photo taken by Oakland police, who identified the suspect as Stephen Hilton, someone they had previously arrested.
Inspectors say they also linked Hilton to mail theft at a high-rise apartment building at East 12th Street and Third Avenue in Oakland.
Authorities say surveillance images show Hilton stealing mail at the building while wearing a Golden State Warriors.
That same day, investigators say Hilton wore the same shirt while stealing mail at an apartment complex on Hanover Avenue near Lake Merritt.
Last week, 10 people were arrested and indicted in connection to robberies of mail carriers across the Bay Area.
Members of the postal workers' union held a rally in Oakland last week and said more than 2,000 employees across the country were victims of robberies or assaults since 2020.
The USPS is asking for the public's help on these crimes, and they can be reached via the United States Postal Inspector website.