WICKER PARK — After the robbery of a mail carrier in Wicker Park, the Postal Service is offering a substantial cash reward to anyone who has information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the knife-wielding attacker.
The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 near 1945 W. Potomac Ave., according to fliers offering a $10,000 reward posted on street poles along Damen Avenue in Wicker Park.
Postal Service spokeswoman Julie Kenney said a mail carrier was approached by another man who "brandished a knife" and told the carrier to give up his wallet.
Kenney said the carrier did not turn over his wallet, but the suspect took a couple pieces of mail from the carrier before running off. The suspect also dropped the mail he stole on the ground, and it was retrieved by the carrier, she said.
The suspect is described by the Postal Service as a light-skinned black man, age 20 to 25, 5-feet-7 to 5-feet-8 inches tall with hazel eyes. The suspect was wearing a dark-colored half face mask, a black hooded sweatshirt with a pocket, dark-colored jeans and dark shoes.
Kenney said Tuesday there is no suspect in custody and the case is under investigation, though they "have some leads," she said.
There have been recent attempted robberies of carriers in West Side neighborhoods, like Worsham Park, but "not on the North Side like Wicker Park," said Kenney.
On Tuesday, mail carrier Melvin Marsh was delivering mail near the corner of Damen and Potomac avenues, just steps from where the incident occurred.
Marsh said he delivers mail on the route where the incident occurred, but another carrier who had taken over his route on Feb. 15 was the man who got robbed.
Marsh said he knows the carrier, whom he described as "a middle-aged man."
When asked if he is concerned about a fellow worker being held up with a knife, Marsh said, "It is all part of life. You can't live in fear."
Valerie Clifton, another carrier who was delivering mail on LeMoyne Street just north of Damen Avenue, said the incident "has not shocked" her or other carriers.
"You have to be careful," Clifton said. She added that in her 18-year career of delivering mail she has never been held up or had anything stolen from her while on the job.
Robbery or attempted robbery of a federal employee is considered a felony, with a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 25 years, Kenney said.
The Chicago Police News Affairs Department had no additional information on the robbery.
The Postal Service is encouraging anyone with information about the robbery to call postal inspectors at 312-983-7854. All information will be kept confidential.