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Clearwater letter carrier honored for stopping burglary

Clearwater Police Chief Tony Holloway talks with Thornell Strawn. - Chief Holloway joined with the Postal Service in honoring letter carrier Thornell Strawn at his Post Office at 1851 N. Hercules Ave. in Clearwater. Strawn was on his route on Feb. 26 on Corona Avenue when he noticed a suspicious subject entering a back yard. He called police and stayed on the phone, relaying what he was seeing and hearing until the police got there. He heard the sounds of the man breaking into the house. A Clearwater Police K9 helped apprehend the suspect.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Clearwater Police Chief Tony Holloway talks with Thornell Strawn. - Chief Holloway joined with the Postal Service in honoring letter carrier Thornell Strawn at his Post Office at 1851 N. Hercules Ave. in Clearwater. Strawn was on his route on Feb. 26 on Corona Avenue when he noticed a suspicious subject entering a back yard. He called police and stayed on the phone, relaying what he was seeing and hearing until the police got there. He heard the sounds of the man breaking into the house. A Clearwater Police K9 helped apprehend the suspect.

CLEARWATER — Thornell Strawn was on his usual delivery route as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service when he noticed something suspicious on Corona Avenue.

"I came around the corner and saw a guy put on a hoodie and go around the back of the house," Strawn said.

Strawn knew the neighborhood and knew the house was inhabited by a single woman whose car was not in the driveway. Thinking he would rather be safe than sorry, Strawn not only called police but stuck around the house, monitoring the suspected burglar.

"He was so into what he was doing, he didn't even know I was there," Strawn said.

Police arrived on the scene and quickly apprehended the suspect, who later admitted to committing other break-ins that day.

Clearwater Postmaster Doug Fiedler and Clearwater police Chief Anthony Holloway honored Strawn Thursday at a ceremony held at the Sunset Point Branch Post Office. Strawn was presented with a letter from the U.S. postmaster general commending him for his efforts, as well as a certificate of appreciation from the Clearwater Police Department.

"I think he went above and beyond his duty," Fiedler said. "It's not every day an employee helps capture a robber."

Strawn attended the ceremony with his wife, Monica, and two children Arielle, 6, and Maya, 1.

"I felt like I was just doing my job," Strawn said. "Even though we deliver the mail, people can still depend on us."

Will Hicks can be reached at whicks@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4155.

Clearwater letter carrier honored for stopping burglary 04/18/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 18, 2014 1:54am]

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