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Postal Worker Battles Would-Be Thieves Trying To Take Packages

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A South Side postal worker likely saved some people's Christmases when he took down two suspected package thieves.

And his quick actions were all caught on camera. CBS 2's Steven Graves has the video you'll see only on CBS 2.

The cameras first catch two people sprinting near the corner of 81st and South Princeton in Chatham last Monday. Their target: A U.S. Postal Service worker's cart full of packages.

It could have been a quick, swift theft. But as the video shows, three people with the debris surrounding them. They are the two suspects. One standing to the side, the other being tightly gripped by the postal worker.

It went on for several minutes.

People walk around and cars pull up. The mailman is even seen being dragged and still does not let go.

At one point, one suspect goes to the home that's recording the surveillance video to ask for help.

"The guy was I guess just walking around trying to help get the mailman off of his brother," said the resident who did not want to be identified.

He did not let go for six minutes, until police arrived. One of the suspects caught with hands over head.

The mailman was left bruised and battered.

"He's always been kind. It was just really unfortunate to see something like that happen especially to him because he has a connection to this neighborhood," added the resident.

Chicago police said the postal worker, who is based at a site off Ashland, was okay. He was able to tell them he had noticed the teenagers, ages 16 and 17, following him before the attack.

"I was just grateful that we have a mailman that's willing to go above and beyond," said the resident.

Two teenagers were taken into custody. One was charged with theft. It's a misdemeanor charge of over $500.  Police said that the packages they tried to steal were recovered.

CBS 2 asked the U.S. Postal Service whether the suspects would face federal charges. The agency has yet to respond.

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