The city of Stockton is seeing a sudden increase in the number of pizza delivery robberies.
Two deliverymen were robbed at gunpoint in close proximity to each other on Tuesday night. One of the victims was a driver for the Pizza Hut on Pershing and March lane, delivering to a residence on the 1600 block of Tyrol lane at around 6:45 pm. He told police he was robbed at gunpoint by two men, who later fled on foot.
At 10:45 pm Tuesday, another delivery person was attacked on the 4800 block of North Pershing Avenue, less than a one minute drive from the first location. Police reports say he was attacked by two men, and was struck with a metal object. The two suspects fled with his money.
On Friday, two more pizza deliverymen were attacked in Stockton.
At around 5:10 pm, another deliveryman was attacked at same location as the first robbery on Tuesday. When he approached the 1600 block of Tyrol lane, the victim was approached at gunpoint by two men. The stole three pizzas as well as his belongings.
At 8:17 pm, another delivery person was approached by two suspects, who demanded money. When he told them that he did not have cash, they hit him with a gun, and fled the scene.
Because of instances like this, Nadeem Khan, owner of Halal Pizza on March Lane only has his drivers deliver to specific areas.
A few years ago, one of his drivers was approached by a group of men who looked to be gangers, and his life was put in danger.
“He immediately got into his vehicle and drove off and called me,” Khan said. “So I told him to go ahead and come back. I’ll tell the family and let them know what the situation was.”
Since his new policy, Halal Pizza has not had any incidents.
Generally, store owners and manager advise their delivery people to not carry much cash, in the case they come upon a situation.
“We give them a minimum amount to carry,” Khan said. :So basically, if the order is $19.75, we give them change for $20. So they take $0.25 with them.”
Stockton Police are now looking to see if these robberies are connected. They are also advising delivery people in the area to stay vigilant.
“We understand that manpower can be thin, even in the pizza industry,” Officer Joe Silva said. “But please if you can send someone else with the delivery driver, do it, because when there are more people with you, it’s a less tendency to get robbed.”
“A life, compared to $20… I would feel guilty for the rest of my life,” Khan agreed.