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Dropped phone helps unravel postal holdup

The manager barricaded herself in her office with two employees, a customer had her purse rifled and the alleged gunman left his cellphone at the scene of the crime.

Those were some of the details unsealed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday involving a U.S. post office robbery on Hessen Cassell Road last month.

Julius W. Lawson, 34, is one of two men accused of entering the Diplomat Station post office Dec. 20 and demanding money from a customer and employees.

Lawson has been arrested, but the second suspect remains at large.

According to court documents, surveillance video shows one of the men jumping over the counter at the post office – after the manager barricaded herself and two employees in her office – and jumping back across the counter later.

In doing so, however, the man inadvertently left behind a cellphone with a cracked screen display, according to court documents.

Investigators then traced that cellphone to Lawson, using his fingerprints and some of the contacts inside the phone, according to court documents.

Lawson is facing one count of attempting to rob a person having custody of any mail matter, money or property of the United States, according to court records.

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