- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Federal investigators said yesterday another area post office was robbed Friday, the third such holdup in about three weeks.

Though investigators do not think the crimes are related, the recent string is unusual because the last post office holdup in the area was in November 2003 in Charles County.

The most recent robbery occurred at the Congress Heights post office in Southeast, said Denise Backus, a federal postal inspector.

The male robber entered the post office at about 5:40 p.m. through an employee entrance in the rear of the building. He was carrying a black handgun and made off with an undisclosed amount of money, Inspector Backus said.

Witnesses described the suspect as a light-skinned black man in his late 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall. He was wearing dark-blue pants, a light-blue shirt, a dark-blue jacket and a baseball cap.

Authorities do not know whether he ran away on foot or fled in a vehicle.

The holdup occurred a little more than two weeks after two Maryland post offices were robbed on the same day.

On April 20, a man attempted to hold up the Cabin John Post Office, in the 7900 block of MacArthur Boulevard in Montgomery County, at about 7:45 a.m., roughly 45 minutes before opening.

Inspector Backus said the suspect brandished what appeared to be a machine gun, then gathered the four employees on duty and asked them where the safe was. When the employees said no money was in the safe, the man left on a bicycle.

A few hours later, a man walked into a post office in College Park, in the 9500 block of Baltimore Boulevard, and demanded money. The man, who was carrying a silver handgun, jumped over the counter and took about $35 from an open register.

The man fled in a silver car, Inspector Backus said.

“The descriptions of the three suspects are really different,” she said.

No injuries have been reported in the incidents.

There were 40 robberies at U.S. post office facilities in fiscal 2004, compared with 37 in fiscal 2003.

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