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They Finally Caught a Stage Robber

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Kleanbore, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    North St. Louis is not an area in which most people really want to live. The crime rate is high. Some years ago, before Ferguson, the French government advised its citizens to avoid the place, along with the rest of a large swath extending from there out to the airport.

    I avoid the entire area.

    For people who do live in north St. Louis, life has become a little more inconvenient. Dominoes will no longer deliver pizzas after four p.m.. Too many of their drivers have been robbed at gunpoint. Reminds one of the Wells Fargo stage robberies solved by Special Agent Jim Hardie.

    They have finally caught one of the worst of the robbers--a veritable Jesse James without a gang.

    I can only come up with one piece of ST&T advice: Mamas don't let your babies grow up to deliver pizza in high-crime areas.

    https://fox2now.com/2019/11/18/st-louis-man-charged-in-armed-robbery-of-pizza-delivery-drivers/
     
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  2. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    We had a case one time in the Bronx where when a Chinese takeout delivery guy was asked questions at trial about an armed robbery, he said he had been robbed at gunpoint so many times that he couldn't remember the details of this particular one.

    I cringed when I heard that.
     
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  3. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    There were lots of places down here in paradise (south florida) during the late seventies and eighties where being a delivery guy (or gal) was a very hazardous proposition... My least favorite was being called out to an empty or derelict house that our young robbers had used to be able to give an address to the pizza or other delivery type over the phone... I always figured that we were allowing young would be armed robbers to learn "on the job" since the various MO's were as different as the situation required...

    This, of course, was long before the armed citizen movement here in Florida back when, if the good guy had a firearm, it was never with them once they exited their car or delivery van... In recent years don't believe I've heard of a single robbery of this type at all...
     
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  4. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    :(
     
  5. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Delivery is not something I would ever want to do. One of the most disturbing cases I know of is 2 brothers mugging a pizza delivery guy. All they got was a pizza and $11. Frustrated with the low turn out in money, they both pistol whipped him into a coma. Each brother is now serving a life sentence. A third accomplice was arrested as the get away driver. He turned in the 2 brothers and got a much lighter sentence.
     
  6. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    Makes you wish they would put an exploding dye packet in the pizza to mark the robbers. Just like the banks do for bank robbers. :)
     
  7. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Looking back on it.... all these years later... what my outfit (and other police departments around the country) should have done... once we saw the pattern developing, was to make a point of doing outreach to all the places in our city that did deliveries and do some crime prevention education work for all of those businesses.... It's not hard to do a bit of education on what to look for and how to avoid being a victim when you think about it. A young delivery person can easily be told not to deliver the goods to a house with no lights on - or a house that's clearly derelict... A simple call back system for deliveries going into "bad areas" would also cut down on the opportunities for bad actors...

    Taxi drivers in bad areas long ago learned not to leave their doors un-locked and to get a look at potential late night customers before allowing them into the cab - then simply drive off if they suspected a robbery set-up or other kinds of trouble from a potential fare... That sort of stuff, for me, comes under the heading of "Urban survival skills"... and on the ball police outfits have a role to play before the crime occurs... At least that's my take on it...
     
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  8. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    Delivery person is just a mobile ATM for thugs.
     
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  9. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Pizza drivers, yes.

    UPS, apparently not so much-- they do not carry cash.
     
  10. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

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    In the case of Dominos the dye pack might improve the pizza, too!:rofl:
     
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  11. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Once upon a time, way back when I was going through my separation/divorce debacle with my ex-wife while stationed in Charleston, SC back in the late 80s, early 90s, I got a second job delivering pizza in Goose Creek.

    Personally, I loved it for a variety of reasons.

    However, we did have a few instances of problems, and here are a couple:

    One of our drivers was robbed at gunpoint. The robber evidently watched in the parking lot until a driver with a fair stack of pizzas to deliver left. Then he followed the driver and held him up on his last delivery, where he'd have the most money on hand. Found out later, after our boss called the other various pizza delivery stores in the area to inform them of this danger, that it had happened to 2 or 3 other places in the area, but none of them thought to call any other delivery businesses.

    Another, the driver was coming back to the store, driving along Old Back River Road. He had his driver side window down as he was driving along. A gunshot from the driver's side entered through his window and exited through the glass in the back passenger side window. Think about how narrowly this must have missed his head.

    I didn't have a problem with delivering. However, I did decide to pick up my pistol from storage those days, and most days afterwards while I was working.
     
  12. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I delivered pizza off and on, full time and part time, for around thirty years. In the eighties, yes, we did cover some sketchy neighborhoods before pulling out of them (then being ordered back in after lawsuits in other areas over discrimination issues.)

    I was never held up myself, but did self-extract from numerous setups over the years, cases in which I could tell upon arrival in the area that something "wasn't right." I could always confirm it would have been a robbery attempt by the fact that, in all of those incidents, we never had a followup call from anyone wondering where their food was. I have known other drivers who were robbed, though.

    I don't know for sure if the old site www.tipthepizzaguy.com is still active, but the discussion board there had a lengthy thread on tips for avoiding and handling robberies. A lot of what I learned over the years, especially after having worked both in that and in LE (even at the same time for a brief period), is in that thread.
     
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  13. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    As a delivery driver, wouldn’t it be advantageous to have active gps tracking, multiple angles of dashcam and at least a single body cam? Of course we all know this won’t happen because nobody will drop a grand to make minimum wage, but realistically it seems like a good idea, provided that the footage gathered by dashcam was kicked off to a cloud somewhere and the person had a silent SOS beacon to summon help... yes that added more cost to it...

    Secondarily, drivers should carry a hipoint! Functional but who cares if it gets beat up or gets covered in pizza grease.
     
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  14. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Ummm...

    Speaking as a guy who delivered for a couple years, a lot of people working those jobs aren't going to have the kind of disposable income to set up "active gps tracking, multiple angles of dashcam and at least a single body cam", which you acknowledged in your own posting.

    Good idea or not, economics is a very real aspect in this.

    It WOULD be a cool idea, I'll grant you that. But even if one does this kind of thing, it's still best to put significant effort in avoiding the encounters in the first place, if at all possible.
     
  15. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    Might make it run better.
     
  16. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Active GPS tracking... cell phone. Dashcam is about 150 now for a pretty good one, but you would need at least 2 or 3 to cover the angles GoPro and mount 400. Those per driver costs shrink considerably when buying power of something like a pizza chain looks at buying stuff to outfit 20000 delivery drivers.
     
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  17. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    One might think this.

    BUT...pizza delivery is not a highly paying, skilled labor kind of job. It's also a pretty high turn-around kind of job, too.

    GPS tracking features run $20 to $30 a month for the service. Granted, this might be discounted for a business covering several drivers, but it adds up. AND it also presumes each driver has a smartphone. I did not until very recently, and some others do not as well.

    Dashcams on vehicles...how much would it cost to provide the kind of coverage in the vehicles of every driver at a pizza delivery store? And keep in mind, this is to be installed in the personal vehicles of each driver, not on company cars.

    GoPro or other kinds of cameras to be worn. Again, how much on a per-person basis?

    That's significant. More so for part time drivers who are earning not much above minimum wage, plus any per-delivery amount they're paid as well.

    And all that "stuff"? It's also a theft magnet, more so because it will have to be easily installed/removed to outfit personal vehicles AND the fact that the robbers are (contrary to popular belief) generally aware of many of the inherent risks of what they're doing. So now "gimme your money and that pizza" becomes "gimme your money, that pizza, and while you're at it, hand over your smart phone, that really cool GoPro you're carrying, and the DashCam".

    The risky stuff (GPS tracked phone, for example) could be tossed or turned off/battery removed and all that extra techy stuff sold for more money.

    This isn't to say it isn't a good idea...but the implementation has to be reasonably economical as well. Because the cost has to be offset somehow: insurance savings, increased prices on the pizza being sold, attracting better and more reliable drivers, whatever.
     
  18. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Dash cameras and GPS tracking would help prevent driver robberies about as much as surveillance cameras in convenience stores stop robberies in them. The idea is to have drivers learn to recognize potential threats before they become actual ones, so they can self-extract, and also to have drivers fare well should they actually come under attack.
     
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  19. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    When I was a young (and stupid) officer in the early 70's, NYC was going through a horrible time, crime wise. Cabbies were get shot with regularity. I decided to take out a cab a couple of nights a week. I said I was stupid. I drove with one pistol in a holster on the top of my boot, and one under my thigh.

    There was a lot of racial profiling by the cab drivers, as in many wouldn't pick up black people at all. I decided I would pick up everyone. I drove for about a year, luckily never had a hold up attempt. I had longish hair, and had many pills and joints put in the pay slot as tips, but made no arrests for that. Surprisingly, I made quite a bit of money for a nights work, many black people were thrilled I picked them up and tipped accordingly.

    Drunks, you could smell the alcohol immediately, were a problem. Half the time they didn't know where they wanted to go, could be verbally abusive, and left things in the cab. You also worried they would throw up inside.

    At one point the double shifts got to me and I decided I'd had enough, I was single and didn't really need the money. Rudy got elected, and the crime rate started it's downward slide. NY today is one of the safest big cities in the country.
     
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  20. Encoreman

    Encoreman Member

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    Duh do they think they are going to get $25K or something?? If you want more $$ you have to be smarter!!
     
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  21. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

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    What about putting holsters on the bottom of the pizza delivery packs and stock it with a firearm, after a couple of attempted robberies crime rate would decline
     
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  22. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Vast majority of the criminals that were incarcerated at my facility were high school and even junior high dropouts. Where having a diploma was an "educated" inmate. I only encountered one person who had a bachelor's degree. So nope. They probably thought pizza delivery carries tons of cash. I know one robber who tried to hold up a strip club. He figured, lots of cash exchanged there to pay dancers. Problem was this club had at least 3 bouncers at any given time and they are armed. He gave up quick.
     
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  23. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Heh! A fun thought, to be sure, but the reality of it wouldn't actually play out well for a variety of reasons!

    First of all, not everybody is comfortable or proficient with the thought of carrying a firearm. We tend not to think about that as much because this is a firearms forum and quite literally packed with people who own/carry/hunt/shoot firearms. We would not be quite so representative of the average population.

    Second, it takes a LOT to get the average person to deliberately use deadly force on another person with the intent of stopping them even if it requires lethal force to do so. It's a powerful psychological thing to overcome.

    Third, even a shooting which is determined to be 100% justified and does not result in prosecution carries with it a heavy load of stress. You potentially have to deal with having deliberately inflicting serious bodily harm or death to another person. There's the stress of dealing with the ensuing investigation (which WILL happen), attorneys, and the DA. Attorney's cost money, too, and it will take a lot of pizza deliveries to make up for that. If it goes to court, there's that added stress and financial cost. If you don't go to criminal court, and in many jurisdictions even if you do, you may still have to deal with the civil court. There's the media hubbub during all this.

    I say if you're already willing and able to carry as part of your normal day-to-day life, fine. Have at it. You likely understand the responsibilities and consequences better than average. But even we here know the value of situational awareness and common sense with respect to avoidance.

    When I delivered way back when, there were times I carried. But I always wanted to avoid if at all possible. To the point of not stopping and going back to the store, if I had to.

    It's kind of like when I had the talk with my kids about driving and responsibilities. You always have to be careful and observant, because it's better to avoid an accident than get into one even if it's 100% not your fault. In the end, it doesn't matter if it's the other guy's fault and they have to pay for everything when it's your car you can't drive to work because it's wrecked, when it's your broken bones you have to heal and live with, when you have to live with the experience of another person's death.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  24. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Very well said Chief...
     
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  25. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

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    Thanks for the clarification, I'm just fed up with violent crimes and I feel drugs are contributing to them. I've started putting my hand on my EDC when getting gas or walking to my truck and other people are around, about the only place I feel 100% safe is in the woods
     
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