Police in Northeast Philadelphia are looking for a man who posted as a postal worker and forced his way into an elderly woman's home at gunpoint Tuesday morning and robbed her.
Capt. Joseph Zaffino, commander of the 7th District, headquartered at Bustleton Avenue and Bowler Street, said the woman answered a knock at her door on Nester Place near Welsh Road at 9:45 a.m. and found the man dressed in a full postal worker uniform on the doorstep.
The man asked her to sign for a letter, and when the woman opened her screen dooro, police said, the man put a gun to her stomach and forced her back inside. He then turned her around and forced her into a bedroom, the barrel of the handgun against her back, and demanded all her valuables, Zaffino said.
The gunman made off with an unknown amount of cash and jewelry from the woman, who cops say is about 70 years old.
The assailant is described as a clean shaven Hispanic man, 5 feet 5 to 5 feet 7, between 25 and 30 with a medium build. Zaffino said he wore a full postal uniform down to the hat but was not carrying a mail bag at the time of the robbery.
Police cautioned residents not to open their doors for any postal workers try don't recognize and to call 911 if someone they don't know comes to their door.
Zaffino said this is the first time he knows of that a robber posing as a postal worker committed a home-invasion. The woman's regular mailman was on vacation at the time of the robbery, cops said, but Zaffino said police were unsure whether the robber had been casing the house.
Detectives were still at the scene investigating around 3:30 p.m., and were also looking for surveillance cameras in the area that may have captured the gunman. Zaffino said the traumatized victim stayed in the bedroom as the man left and did not see what direction he went or if he was driving a vehicle.
No fingerprints or any other evidence were left behind by the robber.
"He didn't touch anything going through the house," Zaffino said. "He knew what he was doing."