The Baltimore Sun had a piece this week that looked at pizza delivery driver robberies in Baltimore. In this story was this bit worth commenting on:
Baltimore police have since provided data on these robberies, showing that in nearly two-thirds of them, the food order was placed as a ruse and with the intention of committing a robbery.
Police said there have been 66 food delivery driver robberies this year, and in 42 of them, investigators believe the robbers placed the order. In the other 24 robberies, police believe the driver was ambushed as he made a legitimate order.
In all, robberies of delivery drivers represent about one-sixth of all commercial robberies reported in Baltimore this year.In the sleepy little burg where I work we have quite a number of restaurants that do a brisk business with food delivery. We also get a number of delivery drivers who are robbed as they make their delivery. I'd probably not be too far off if I'd say that the majority of our delivery driver robberies were setup robberies like they were in Baltimore.
Because of the nature of these crimes, the key to reducing them probably lies in prevention. This will require these businesses to make some small changes to their procedures to prevent their employees from becoming a victim.
In many of the delivery driver robberies that my agency has investigated, not uncommon for the delivery to be called in and the call back number provided to the business to be fake. It's also common for the delivery was sent to a vacant residence. If the business would make it a practice to call the call back number back they would discover the suspicious call back number prior to sending their employee out.
They also need to encourage their employees to drive by the delivery location without stopping before stopping to attempt the delivery. This would give them an opportunity to examine the surroundings and abandon the delivery attempt if things just don't look right.
The Charlotte - Mecklenburg Police Department has a great one page prevention tip sheet for these types of robberies. You can snag a copy here.