Police: USPS employee ‘slapped’ by accused mail thief

Police: USPS employee, cyclist assaulted by Keith Burns, 35

Keith Burns, 35, shown in a jail booking photo. (MCSO)
Keith Burns, 35, shown in a jail booking photo. (MCSO)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -– A 35-year-old man is accused of stealing a package from a United State Postal Service mail carrier and then slapping her in the face, authorities said.

Keith Bryan Burns was arraigned Wednesday at Multnnomah County Justice Center on charges of third-degree robbery, mail theft, harassment, fourth-degree assault, and recklessly endangering another person.

Portland Police confirm they responded to the area of SE 83rd Avenue and Bybee Street to investigate reports of a postal worker being robbed. As officers helped the postal worker, another robbery report came in, indicating a woman on a bicycle was robbed, police said.

The USPS mail carrier told police she was in uniform, walking her route and delivering packages when she noticed a man, later identified as Burns, coming up behind her. The mail carrier felt “uneasy so she went up to the porch of a nearby residence,” Kemp wrote.

When the employee returned to her route, Burns approached her again and said “Hey, mailman, I need that box,” Kemp wrote. Burns grabbed the package from the USPS worker’s satchel and opened the package. He reportedly said “I can’t buy shoes with that” or “You can’t buy s— with that,” Kemp wrote.

Burns then slapped the mail carrier, according to the prosecutor. As the mail carrier fled for safety, Burns threw the package at her, hitting her again, court documents state.

Police contacted the second victim who told them she was riding her bike on SE 82nd Avenue when Burns approached her. Burns reportedly had his “arms out like an airplane and was yelling ‘stop, hey stop’ over and over,” Kemp wrote. As the second victim on her bike rode past Burns, he punched her in her stomach and appeared to try and grab her bike, police said.

A PPB K-9 dog located Burns hiding under a tarp. He was booked into Multnomah County Inverness Jail.

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