The order was placed from an unsavory part of town in Newport, R.I. The eyes of the driver delivering the pizza were sweeping from side to side as he drove down the dark street, his knuckles gripping the wheel a bit tighter than usual. The roof of his car was adorned with the pizza company's roof topper. He knew it made his car stand out. He was very aware that several deliveries to this particular area resulted in armed robberies, the latest in which the driver was assaulted. He quickly glanced at the house address on the order slip, then in the mirror, and again side to side. The house was just ahead.
The driver had an eerie feeling as he pulled in front of the house. Two guys walked up to his car rather menacingly, flashed a gun – and announced the robbery. This time, however, the robbery was not successful. The driver was well trained and prepared to react to the situation.
The driver and the two individuals hiding in the back seat were undercover police, much to the surprise of the two suspects. Police cars converged on the scene from every direction. The two robbers were taken into custody without incident.
The sting was set up in cooperation with the pizza company after several robberies occurred during deliveries to the same area. With a pre-arranged plan when the next deliver order came from that area, the police were notified and took over. Both subjects were charged not only with this robbery, but others as well.
Although this story refers to one, specific incidentin Rhode Island, delivery drivers frequently run into dangerous situations.
Crime statistics show that several pizza delivery drivers are robbed every day. The robberies occur in small rural areas as well as the large metropolitan cities. The crime is an industry concern, but steps can be taken to lessen the risk.
The delivery area should be assessed for potential crime issues based on police reports, anecdotal information, and assessing risk.
To help in determining restrictions of delivery in your area due to the threat of robbery and other crime, a future article will be published on how to make those decisions based on the best information available.
Tips for delivery drivers
The primary goals in offering delivery are to offer convenience to your customer and build sales. Unfortunately there are risks attached to this service. Following security and safety practices and training your staff can help to eliminate and mitigate the associated dangers of delivery.