Federal charges filed against St. Paul man accused of robbing postal employees

Postal workers demonstrated in downtown Minneapolis in the wake of the robberies to demand protection and a stop to the violent assaults on letter carriers.

postal
Rubin David Adams allegedly accessing locked USPS collection boxes. (U.S. Attorney)

A St. Paul man is facing federal charges in connection to two armed robberies of postal employees in Edina and Brooklyn Center in November, and charges say his ankle monitor data helped place him at the scenes.

Twenty-six-year-old Rubin David Adams has been charged with two counts of assault and attempted robbery while putting a person’s life in jeopardy with the use of a deadly weapon, a press release from U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger’s office said.

According to a court filing, on Nov. 18, 2023, Adams approached a USPS letter carrier in Edina, pointed a handgun at them, and demanded the “mailbox key,” which the victim did not have. Instead, the victim handed over two sets of USPS vehicle keys. The following day, Adams approached another USPS letter carrier in Brooklyn Center. Adams pointed a handgun at the victim’s head and demanded and stole two USPS mailbox keys.

The complaint states that mailbox keys are valuable to criminals who use them to steal mail, cash, checks, and other financial instruments, and it is a federal offense for an unauthorized person to possess keys which are the property of the USPS.

Surveillance video captured a potential suspect vehicle near the crime scene before the Brooklyn Center robbery. The same vehicle was subsequently spotted by law enforcement in Minneapolis on Nov. 19 who attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled. The vehicle subsequently crashed, and several occupants fled near 36th and Knox Avenue North. The vehicle was impounded and later searched.

Investigators were able to piece together information and items found in the vehicle that eventually led them to identify Adams as the suspect in the robberies. Further investigation led to the discovery of several public social media posts where Adams was alleged to be soliciting accomplices to cash checks at local banks.

Rubin David Adams (Sherburne County Jail)

Investigators also learned that Adams was on pre-trial release out of Fayette County, Ga., on pending charges of felony financial transaction card fraud and identity theft. One condition of Adams’ pretrial release was to wear a GPS-enabled ankle monitor, which records his location in one-minute intervals.

After obtaining warrants to review cellphone data from Adams’ phone as well as reviewing location data obtained from the ankle monitor, investigators were able to place Adams very near the site of both armed robberies of the postal workers.

Following the robberies, there were reports of mail stolen from USPS collection boxes in Brooklyn Center. In one case, surveillance video from outside a Cub Foods store showed a vehicle pull up to a mail collection box with one person exiting who appeared to use a key to open the access panel to remove contents from the collection box.

Ankle monitor location data obtained by investigators placed Adams near the collection boxes numerous times where mail had been stolen.

Surveillance cameras were subsequently set up on two blue mail collection boxes outside the Brooklyn Center Post Office in response to mail thefts that had been reported from the boxes.

Charges say on Dec. 25, 2023, from 5:12 a.m. to 5:14 a.m., the cameras captured two individuals arriving at the boxes in a gray Dodge Durango. One person wearing a red sweatshirt exited the passenger side of the vehicle, moved to the access panel at the rear of the collection boxes, and used a key to open the collection boxes and remove the mail collection boxes inside. The individual with the red sweatshirt appeared to have dreadlocks the same length and distinct thickness as Adams’ dreadlocks. A second suspect assisted the suspect in the red sweatshirt in emptying the mail tubs into the back seat of the vehicle. The suspect in the red sweatshirt then placed the tubs back in the collection boxes and appeared to lock the access panels with a key.

Again, Adams’ ankle monitor location data placed him at the Post Office at the time of the theft Christmas morning and showed he was in the same position as the person depicted in the red sweatshirt when opening the collection box.

The complaint also noted that search warrant data obtained from Adams’ Facebook account showed that about 30 minutes after the original Brooklyn Center robbery, he searched for the terms “brooklyn center crime watch,” “Twin Cities Crime Watch & Information,” and “North Minneapolis Crime Watch & Information.” The investigator indicated in the complaint that individuals involved in violent crimes are known to search for public safety or news reports about their crimes in order to determine if the crime has been reported to law enforcement.

Jail records show Adams was taken into custody on Jan. 4 and remains in federal custody where he is being held without bail.

On Sunday Dec. 7, postal workers demonstrated on the steps of the Main Post Office in downtown Minneapolis in the wake of the robberies to demand protection and a stop to the violent assaults on letter carriers.

The National Association of Letter Carriers told media and others present at the demonstration that violent attacks on letter carriers have ramped up in recent years. According to U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) data, there have been over 2,000 violent attacks against letter carriers across the country since 2020.

“This is part of an alarming trend that law enforcement is seeing around country, including here in the Twin Cities,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “We take this issue very seriously and will continue to ensure postal employees are safe and free from violence as they serve their communities.”

Law enforcement encourages anyone who may have mailed letters or checks from Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park that did not reach their destination to contact the USPIS Tip Line at 612-884-7962 or hfcvfzagvcf@hfcvf.tbi.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.

 

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.