Two Arrested for U.S. Postal Carrier Robberies

PALO ALTO, CA  Police arrested two suspects this weekend after they committed robberies of United States Postal Service mail carriers in Belmont and Palo Alto, and then led officers on a vehicle pursuit in a stolen car before crashing into a tree and fleeing on foot.  Police recovered two airsoft pistols and the stolen property.

The incident began around 2:12 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2024, when the Palo Alto 24-hour dispatch center put out an alert on the police radio about a strong-arm robbery of a mail carrier that had occurred around 1:30 p.m. in Belmont.  The Belmont Police Department described the two suspects and the vehicle they were driving (a black 2013 Infiniti G37 two-door, bearing a stolen license plate that belonged on a Ford).

At about 2:18 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a witness reporting they had just seen two males loitering in the 800 block of Ilima Court.  When the males spotted the witness, they quickly walked away and entered a black Infiniti sedan parked on Laguna Drive.  The witness continued to watch them and saw them exit the Infiniti and walk back towards Ilima Court.  The witness’ description of the males and their car closely matched the alert from Belmont.  Officers began responding to the area to investigate.

A few minutes later, other witnesses called police to report that a mail carrier had just been robbed at gunpoint in the 800 block of Ilima Court by two suspects matching the earlier description.

Responding officers located the suspect vehicle driving northbound on El Camino Real from Matadero Avenue.  When officers attempted to make a stop, the suspect vehicle fled at a high rate of speed, leading police on a vehicle pursuit that turned westbound onto Hansen Way.  The suspect vehicle lost control and crashed into a tree in a private parking lot in the 3100 block of Hansen Way, and both suspects inside then fled on foot.  Officers chased the suspects, arresting them both without incident nearby a short time later.

Both suspects sustained minor injuries as a result of the collision.  Personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department treated and released them at the scene.  Neither suspect, nor any officers, were injured during the arrests.

The suspect vehicle sustained major damage from the collision and had to be towed from the scene.  It turns out the Infiniti itself had been reported stolen from Alameda on May 1, while the license plate on its rear had been reported stolen from Hayward on May 11.

Inside the vehicle, officers located two sets of stolen postal keys that were later confirmed to be the ones stolen from the two mail carrier victims (one from Belmont, one from Palo Alto).  Officers also located two realistic-looking replica handguns; one inside the vehicle, and the other on the ground outside the vehicle.

The Palo Alto robbery investigation revealed that the victim, a mail carrier in his sixties, had been approached by both suspects.  One suspect pointed a gun at his head while demanding his postal keys.  Both suspects grabbed the victim and forcibly took the keys from him.  The victim was not physically injured.

The robbery in Belmont occurred around 1:30 p.m. on May 11 in the 700 block of Old County Road.  In that case, the mail carrier was a woman in her forties who received minor physical injuries but declined medical treatment at the scene.  No weapon was used.

Police booked 19-year-old Trevionne Levar Williams of Sacramento into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse (due to the age of the Palo Alto victim) and committing a felony while out on bail for another felony (all of which are felonies), and also for misdemeanor resisting arrest (for running from the police after the collision).  Williams is currently out on bail in Sacramento County for multiple firearms-related violations.  His booking photo appears above.  Police arrested the second suspect for robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, and vehicle theft (all of which are felonies), and also for misdemeanor evading police (for leading them on the pursuit); as he is a 17-year-old male, police transported him to the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall.  In accordance with our standard release of information procedures, no additional information on that suspect is available since he is under the age of 18.  The juvenile was driving the stolen vehicle at the time of the collision.

Palo Alto detectives are working in close collaboration with detectives from the Belmont Police Department, as well as investigators from the United States Postal Inspection Service.  Palo Alto detectives are also actively investigating to see if these suspects may also be responsible for a strong-arm robbery of a mail carrier that occurred in Palo Alto in December 2023.  For details on that incident, see the news release we distributed at the time. That case is unsolved and remains open.

Robberies of mail carriers for postal keys, which are used to access locked Postal Service mailboxes, are becoming increasingly more common (though this is only the second such case in recent memory here in Palo Alto).  Thieves then use the keys to assist them in committing mail theft, which in turn facilitates identify theft, fraud, and other crimes.

Unauthorized possession of a postal key is a federal crime, a conviction of which can land someone in prison for up to ten years.  The United States Postal Inspection Service encourages anyone who knows the location of any stolen postal keys or who has information about any robberies of mail carriers to contact their 24-hour hotline at (877) 876-2455.  They offer a reward of up to $150,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any suspects.