Another postal worker in the D.C. area has been robbed, marking the seventh such incident in little more than a week.
Montgomery County police and U.S. Postal inspectors searched a neighborhood in Bethesda, Maryland, just off of Old Georgetown Road Thursday morning looking for an armed suspect who robbed a letter carrier.
"USPS worker was robbed at gunpoint. Arrow key was stolen," an operator can be heard saying in police dispatch audio.
Arrow keys are master keys used to open corner mailboxes.
"It is a sad state of things when it comes down to robberies against someone that provides an essential service to our communities, but it's happening here and it's got to end," U.S. Postal Inspector Michael Martell said last week.
All seven robberies have similar looking suspects and methods. In most cases, a dark sedan is used as the getaway car.
On June 30, two postal workers were robbed, one in Takoma Park, Maryland, and the second in Northeast D.C.
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Four more were robbed the following day in Wheaton, Maryland, then Beltsville, before another in Northwest D.C. and, lastly, Columbia, Maryland.
Then, yesterday, another worker was robbed in Bethesda.
"The subjects have assaulted the carrier by striking them in the face or head," Martell said.
In the Bethesda neighborhood where the letter carrier was robbed Thursday, a mailbox carries a warning for neighbors that their mail might not be safe in the box if they deposit it after the pick up time and it stays in the box overnight.
Officials are offering a reward of $50,000 for information that leads to an arrest.
"This is an alarming trend that needs to stop. The $50,000 reward applies to each incident," Martell said.