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East Oakland Mail Carriers Targeted In Series Of Armed Robberies Involving EDD Benefits Cards

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- A 31-year-old Oakland man was charged Monday in a series of armed robberies targeting mail carriers in East Oakland as they delivered pre-paid EDD ATM benefits cards, federal prosecutors said.

U.S. Attorney David Anderson said that David Leveren Quinn allegedly committed at least six armed robberies or attempted robberies of U.S. Postal Service letter carriers in East Oakland neighborhoods between August 11 and September 25.

According to the criminal complaint, Quinn committed the robberies with one or more unknown conspirators. While the circumstances vary, the complaint alleges that in most of the robberies Quinn and one other person searched for USPS letter carriers and then parked near the letter carrier's mail truck.

Quinn or his co-conspirator then would get out of their vehicle, confront the letter carrier, and take or attempt to take trays of mail and packages from the mail truck.

Federal prosecutors said in several of the robberies, Quinn or his co-conspirator carried, showed or pointed a suspected firearm at the letter carrier.

Quinn allegedly committed the robberies to engage in identity theft targeting EDD unemployment benefits issued during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The complaint specifically charges Quinn with a September 19th robbery of a USPS letter carrier near the corner of 66th Avenue and Avenal Avenue in Oakland.

At around 3 p.m., according to the complaint, a silver Infinity sedan, with its front license plate removed, parked near a letter carrier who was at the back of his mail truck retrieving mail.

Quinn got out of the Infinity, approached the letter carrier, and placed a suspected firearm at the letter carrier's right side and told him not to move. Quinn was joined by his crime partner, and they took mail trays from the mail truck and fled in the sedan.

According to the complaint, shortly after the robbery, surveillance footage from an ATM in Oakland shows Quinn using a California Employment and Development Department (EDD) debit card to withdraw $1,000 in cash. That debit card had been mailed to an address on the mail route of the letter carrier who Quinn had just robbed.

The next day Quinn used the same prepaid debit card to purchase a Cadillac SUV that he used in a subsequent attempted robbery. A law enforcement search of Quinn's phone showed that Quinn also tried to activate another EDD debit card that had been mailed to an address also on the mail route of the letter carrier that Quinn had robbed on September 19, 2020.

Quinn remains in federal custody and his next scheduled appearance is at 10:30 am on December 22, 2020.

If convicted, Quinn faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gross pecuniary gain to the defendant or twice the gross pecuniary loss inflicted on victims, and restitution.

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