An armed bystander chased off a criminal who was attempting to rob a mailman in the suburbs of Chicago, police said.
Authorities in River Grove, Illinois, said the suspect had held a US Postal Service (USPS) worker at gunpoint and demanded his keys at around 9.30am on 18 July.
The mailman complied, but before the robber could escape, a neighbour with a handgun intervened. “Words and gunshots were exchanged,” police said, and the suspect was forced to flee to a waiting car.
No mail van was stolen, but it is not clear whether the robber was able to make off with anything else. The USPS worker was not injured.
“He was just very distressed, very scared,” another neighbour, one of two sisters, told NBC Chicago.
“You could tell he was very nervous from what had just happened.”
The other sister said their mother had let the mailman inside the house to check if he was all right because she knows him from his rounds and talks to him regularly.
Police have offered up to $50,000 for any information leading to the arrest of the robbers. Postal inspectors believe there were four people involved.
One suspect was described as a Black man with a thin build, 5 foot 6 tall, wearing a light-grey hooded sweatshirt and a mask. The group fled in a silver Hyundai sedan.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to call the US Postal Inspection Service on (877) 876-2455, quoting case number 3681116.
The USPS is also offering $50,000 for information on another case that occurred days later, on Sunday at approximately 2.15pm, near the intersection of S Seely Avenue and W 99th Street, Chicago.
The suspect in this case was described as a Black male wearing dark clothing and a face covering by authorities. The USPS said the suspect fled on foot westbound on W 99th Street.
Authorities asked for information on this incident by quoting case number 4062292.