Local News

Police Release Composite Of Man Suspected Of Destroying Postal Truck

Posted January 21, 2002

— Authorities in Wilson have released a composite sketch of a man suspected of stealing a U.S. Postal Service Highway Contract Route truck and later setting it on fire.

Police are looking for a 6-foot-tall black male around 40 years old with medium build and medium complexion. Police also said that the man's hair may be braided.

Police said a U.S. Postal Service Highway Contract Route truck was hijacked Wednesday near Wilson.

According to police, a postal worker had just made a pick-up at the Wilson Post Office and stopped at a stop sign when a man jumped into the vehicle with a handgun. The man then allegedly ordered the driver to take him outside of the city.

Officials say the suspect later took the driver out of the vehicle, tied him up in a nearby field and stole his wallet. The suspect then reportedly traveled toward the eastern part of Wilson County, and the driver managed to escape unharmed.

The truck, which was carrying approximately 10,000 pieces of mail, was later set on fire. It was found off Highway 264.

The truck picks up mail for six towns between Wilson and Goldsboro: Pikeville, Freemont, Black Creek, Lucama, Sims and Bailey. No mail on the truck was from Wilson.

Several people have been coming to the Post Office to find out whether their mail was among the ones that were burned. Gary Griffin said he believes some of his mail may now be up in smoke.

"I sent my insurance off Wednesday, so there is a good chance that it was on there," he said.

Postal inspectors do not know if the suspect took any of the mail.

Customers who deposited mail on Jan. 16 at any of the post offices in the towns listed above are asked to contact the information center at the Wilson Post Office at

252-237-4161

,

252-237-4162

or

252-237-4163

.

Letters are expected to go out to postal customers, explaining the situation. The Postal Inspection Service is recommending that customers who believe they had mail on the truck should notify the sender that the mail may have been destroyed or stolen.

Postal inspectors are working with local police to develop leads in the case. Authorities are offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information about the case.

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