By Carol Tannenhauser
The police report was only a couple of lines. On Saturday, January 27, at approximately 1:10 p.m., “an individual, who is not an employee of the USPS [United States Postal Service] was observed with a USPS mail carrier [pushcart] in their possession at the intersection of West 84 Street and Central Park West. Toure Gaddis, 41, of Brooklyn, was arrested and charged.”
What the report didn’t say was that Gaddis was picked up because of the quick and fearless action of 20-year veteran mail carrier Yalin Yeh, better known as YaYa.
YaYa, 52, told West Side Rag that there have been four mail pushcart thefts in her area since December, and one of those stolen was hers. That time she found her cart a few blocks away, emptied of mail and packages. So, she knew the scheme: “When the mail carriers are inside delivering the mail and they can’t fit their pushcarts in, people come and push them away. Sometimes they wear uniforms, sometimes not.”
Gaddis was in street clothes when YaYa saw him pushing the cart. “I looked him in the face and knew he was not from our station. So I called my supervisor and he called the police. He put me on the phone with them and they told me to follow him at a distance, and stay on the phone line till they arrived.”
YayYa did. “I didn’t want to see this keep happening,” she said when asked why she took the risk. “When I saw him, I had to do something to protect my cutomers and the post office.”
(Thanks to Kate McMullen for the tip.)
Subscribe to WSR’s free email newsletter here.