Snow, rain, and darkness aren’t the only things that impede postal workers from making their rounds. From Maine to California, they are increasingly being robbed, sometimes at gunpoint.

According to statistics released to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act by the United States Postal Inspection Service, postal carrier robberies have increased 78% to almost 500 in 2022.

Letter carriers are requesting action from the United States Postal Service.

“The National Association of Letter Carriers is outraged and angered by the assaults, armed robberies, and even murders that America’s letter carriers are increasingly experiencing while delivering the mail.” “These attacks are completely unacceptable,” said Paul Barner, executive vice president of the union.

The Postal Service said it is adjusting and adopting new methods to combat the robberies, which are putting a strain on letter carriers who are responsible for delivering over 162.1 million pieces of first-class mail each day.

“Every postal employee deserves to work in safety and without fear of being targeted by criminals looking to access the public’s mail,” said Michael Martel, the inspection service’s spokeswoman.

The findings reveal that robberies have more than tripled in the last decade. Last year, weapons were utilized in the majority of the 496 robberies that injured 31 postal couriers. Aundre Cross, a Milwaukee postal courier, was shot to death, prompting three arrests.

“They definitely need some type of security,” Cross’s buddy Jared Tangle said. “They need someone to keep an eye on them so they can do their jobs safely.”

Many of these crooks are growing in sophistication and organization. Some are after the unique keys used by carriers to open collection boxes and deliver mail in residential complexes.