Giant loses $10,000 in stamps to robber

Theft is the largest postal officials can recall

February 26, 1999|By Nancy A. Youssef | Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

A robbery at Giant Food in Dorsey's Search Feb. 7 had an interesting twist, police said yesterday: The thief stole about $10,000 worth of stamps, the largest such theft Maryland postal authorities can remember.

Police suspect that the robber is a former Giant employee, said Sgt. Morris Carroll, a police spokesman.

A man entered the store just before closing and bought a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and duct tape.

He returned minutes later, saying he had forgotten to buy something.

"He said, `My wife is having a cookie attack,' " Carroll said.

After re-entering the store, he produced a semiautomatic handgun and tied up two of the store's three employees with the tape. He then demanded that one of the employees remove several thousand dollars -- and stamps -- from the safe.

No one was injured, Carroll said.

Police said they have no leads in the investigation. They hope the thief will try to sell the stamps on the street or back to the post office, they said.

Authorities have few other ways to track the stamps because they have no identifying characteristics, Carroll said.

"These things aren't traceable," he said.

Postal officials said they couldn't remember a stamp theft of this size. Stamp theft usually is from smaller establishments and doesn't exceed $2,500, postal inspector Tom Boyle said.

"That kind of robbery is extremely rare," Boyle said. "We don't trace them because we generate too many stamps and they change too often."

Barry F. Scher, a Giant spokesman, said the chain has never had a similar theft.

"Anytime we have a holdup, we evaluate security and make changes where necessary," Scher said. "We have made those changes."

Pub Date: 2/26/99

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