CHICAGO (WLS) -- A man allegedly tried to sexually assault a USPS mail carrier before stealing her postal truck Saturday morning in Chicago's Little Village Neighborhood, according to Chicago police.
Police have released a still photo captured by surveillance cameras inside a gas station's convenience store moments before the attack. They are hoping it will help them locate this man who USPS is calling "armed and dangerous."
The 28-year-old female postal worker was getting into her postal vehicle in the 2800 block of South Pulaski Road are 9:15 a.m. when she found a man hiding inside, police said.
CPD issued a community alert that said the suspect "pulled her by the hair and directed her to drive to a nearby parking lot...then told her to move to the back of the van and remove her clothing."
As she tried to escape through the back of the van, the suspect beat her and removed some of her clothing, police said.
After a struggle, the victim eventually managed to escape with the suspect then drove off in her postal vehicle, police said.
"We saw a lot of squad cars racing southbound says this woman who was setting up for a yard sale not a half a block away from the gas station," said Little Village resident Nora Favela.
The abandoned truck was found a short time later in the 4500 block of West Marquette Road in West Lawn.
The victim was transported to St. Anthony Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and has been released, according to USPS.
The alert said the suspect has multiple arm and chest tattoos and a tattoo on the side of his head.
Meanwhile, a second vehicle, which was also abandoned outside the gas station where the assault took place, may be a part of the investigation.
Police were unable to say whether it belongs to the assailant. However, the store manager said it was left running for several hours and never claimed, so it was towed away late Saturday afternoon.
"I came out around 10 o'clock and I just saw a bunch police cars, and tape around and they were looking inside a car," said fellow Little Village resident, Sam.
Both CPD and USPS are asking for the public's help on this. If you recognize the man, police are asking you to not confront him and call detectives.
The postal service is now offering a reward of up to $50,000 to anyone who comes forward with information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
Anyone with information is urged to call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service hotline at 877-876-2455.