It's not often that we order pizza, or delivery of any kind, for that matter; we're more apt to call for carry out if we want to eat restaurant food at home. I think the last time we ordered pizza was when the basement flooded in October.
That doesn't change the fact that one of my favorite blogs in the whole entire world wide web is Pizzaman's Streets of Pizza. I was not happy when I read his most recent post about pizza delivery drivers getting held up in the 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis, cuz that's our neck of the non-woods.
This crime alert issued by the City of Minneapolis iterates: "Since December 12, there have been eight robberies of drivers delivering pizzas in the Third Precinct. In most cases, the drivers had made the delivery and were returning to their vehicles when the suspects approached. In some of the cases, suspects used a handgun; in others, suspects physically assaulted the victim. All these robberies occurred sometime between 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m."
The strib ran a story about the recent pizza crime wave; Lt. Mike Fossom made the following statement in the story: "Police believe the robbers watch the drivers leave their stores and follow them to the delivery address, Fossum said."
I found a map created on January 2, 2007 that gives us an accurate depiction of where these crimes are occurring. It looks like most of these crimes are occuring on the other side of Hiawatha (Camden, Phillips, Near North, Central, and Calhoun Isles); while they're not occurring in Longfellow, it's definitely a rise for concern for all of South Minneapolis.
Most of us know that crime rates are rising in Minneapolis. I'm not one to poo poo the statistics and claim something like, "Dude, crime hasn't increased, cops are just busting more people and more people are reporting stuff." That could account for a portion of the increase, but I believe the fact is that more pizza delivery drivers are being robbed in South Minneapolis.
At this point, I'll take the advice of the police and be a bit more vigilant, for the sake of Pizzaman and other pizza delivery drivers. The city's advice to residents:
- Watch for any suspicious activity such as strangers loitering in the street, outside your home or your neighbor’s home. If you order a pizza:
□ Turn on your outside lights.
□ Try to have exact change ready.
□ Take some extra time to make sure the delivery person returns to their vehicle safely. If you see someone approach the driver, call the driver back to the house or call 911 immediately.
□ Keep your doors locked at all times.