A postal worker was beaten and robbed in east Maple Ridge on Thursday.
The 67-year-old man was delivering mail to a community box outside a gated housing complex on 116th Avenue at 239th Street around 1 p.m., when he was approached by two men.
The suspects demanded mail and his keys. One of them then struck the postal worker in the head with a “hard” object, according the Ridge Meadows RCMP. After the assault and theft, the suspects drove off in a green-grey SUV, which had two more men in it.
“This brazen, mid-day attack is very concerning for police and our community,” Cpl. Alanna Dunlop said. “Police investigators are working hard to identify suspects and bring them before the courts. Suspects did steal a quantity of mail in the robbery.”
People who live nearby realized something was amiss when a jogger spotted two men running, one with his arms full of mail.
A man who lives nearby found the mailman lying near his truck, bleeding from the side of his head.
“He was hit with a retractable baton. I didn’t see it, but that’s what the mailman told us,” said the man, who asked to remain anonymous.
“He was covered in blood.”
Large dark pools of blood still stained the area near the mailboxes hours after the attack.
“They cleared out his van,” said the man, who spotted the suspicious metallic green-grey SUV in the neighbourhood shortly before the mailman was attacked.
“They were circling the neighbourhood, waiting for the mailman.”
The postal worker was taken to hospital, where he was treated and released.
Police and the RCMP’s helicopter circled the neighbourhood for hours looking for the SUV and the assailants, but were unable to locate either.
Canada Post Securities and Investigations Unit is also investigating the assault but say it is rare for a postal worker to be attacked and robbed.
With Christmas Eve two weeks away, Canada Post hit its peak processing last week with more than 34 million pieces of mail – letters, cards and parcels – being sorted in plants across the country.
The company warns it’s also a time when thieves target mailboxes, so residents are being ask to report anyone suspicious to police.
To remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or leave a tip online at www.solvecrime.ca. Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
– with files from Colleen Flanagan.