The armed robbery near 4641 Merrick Drive occurred about two months after the reward policy changed Aug. 21, federal records show.
“I think it’s a good thing,” Lutz said. “I think it might be a better incentive if the public has information on these robberies and they may come forward.”
The armed robbery, which federal officials are jointly investigating with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, is among dozens of postal service thefts in the Dayton area in recent years. Arrow keys, which open post office mailboxes, have been taken several times, officials have said.
In the Oct. 14 crime, one suspect is described as being about 5′10″, 150 pounds, wearing black and gold pants, in their late teens or early 20s, the USIPS said. A second suspect is described as about 5′8″, 140 pounds, wearing all black, and also in their late teens or early 20s.
Postal authorities urge no action be taken to apprehend the suspects. Instead, they are asking those who have any information about the crime to contact the postal inspection service at 937-227-1222.
All information will be kept confidential, officials said.
The robbery was reported about 2:10 p.m. and all information was forwarded to the sheriff’s office special investigations unit, the incident report states. No further information was released.
Both Lutz and Christine Blevins of the sheriff’s office declined to comment on the case, citing it is an active investigation. This news organization has filed public record requests for both the total postal service arrow key thefts from mail carriers and outdoor drop boxes in recent years.
Thefts of arrow keys and of outdoor drop boxes both have occurred multiple times in Dayton and surrounding suburbs like Beavercreek, Kettering and the Centerville/Washington Twp. area dating back to 2021.
Law enforcement agencies have said hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen checks have been cashed by parties to whom they were not issued.
Last October 2022, the USPS offered up to $50,000 for information to help solve armed robberies of letter carriers in Dayton and in Trotwood.
The rule changes for higher reward amounts “will reclassify offenses by categories which were previously classified by monetary amount,” a postal service federal registry document states.
“Reward amounts for the recategorized offenses will be increased to reflect current valuations and severity of such offenses,” according to the document.
Convictions have occurred in some cases. In July, Keith Dujuan Calahan, 24, of Dayton was sentenced to two years in federal prison.
He pleaded guilty in February to receiving and unlawfully possessing materials stolen from the U.S. mail, including approximately 250 checks from outdoor postal service blue collection boxes.
Calahan intended to use the stolen mail to perpetrate more than $250,000 in fraud, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker for the Southern District of Ohio.
Two other men were arrested following surveillance at the Kettering apartment.
Leonard Blackstone III, 21, of Kettering walked out carrying a “a number of personal checks in various names.” When police approached him, he dropped the checks.
Blackstone was sentenced July 5 to two years of probation after pleading guilty to obstruction of mail, according to court documents.
Jeffrey Weaver Jr., 23, of Centerville exited the same building with a small bag that contained checks and a firearm. He pleaded guilty to receipt and unlawful possession of stolen mail, the same charge to which Calahan pleaded guilty.