With a drop in armed robberies during the month of December, 2013 started off busy for the Meridian Police Department with two armed robberies of Pizza Delivery Drivers within 24 hours. Captain Dean Harper with the Meridian Police says that they've seen this type of crime in the past.
"A few years ago we had some individuals who were setting up the same type of crime. They would call in a fake delivery of pizza and then when the deliveryman would show up, they would rob him at gunpoint. If I'm not mistaken, we were able to take some individuals into custody back then."
The first robbery occurred around 8:00 PM Thursday night at the Azalea Park Apartment Complex where a pizza deliveryman was robbed at gunpoint. The suspect described as a 6 foot tall black male fled on foot. Just 22 hours later, Meridian Police were dispatched to the intersection of 24th Street and 28th Avenue, where a 6 foot tall black male robbed another pizza delivery driver. Harper says that they're seeing this type of crime because citizens have stepped up their guard.
"Some of these robbers, they're not finding their soft targets, so they're robbing other individuals and I don't know if they've heard of this ploy in the past, but they are going to different means to try to find a victim."
Officials with Dominoes Pizza say that their drivers do not carry much cash since over half of their orders are made by credit card. They are still continuing to follow their safety and security policies which include having the customer turn on a porch light, checking in with the store while out on a delivery, and dropping money back at the store after each transaction. They have also restricted their night time delivery area, but say that they will not let criminals ruin their business.