Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Pizza robberies highlight danger


Five drivers have been robbed recently

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

NORTHSIDE - Pizza delivery may soon be a thing of the past unless you have a credit card

A rash of robberies of area pizza delivery drivers in recent weeks - including three in Cincinnati and two in Hamilton County - are a vivid reminder of how dangerous the job is.

In fact, pizza delivery is the fifth most dangerous job in America, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Local pizza store owners are painfully aware of those statistics.

Kevin Leidecker, the 26-year-owner of NYPD Pizza in Northside, said his business avoids cell phone calls, scans caller ID to determine if a number represents a previous problem and encourages customers to pay with credit cards.

Several years ago five juveniles assaulted one of his delivery drivers, beating him "into a coma for $12."

Leidecker said that because of the concerns of drivers being robbed for the cash they're carrying, he believes that within five years you won't be able to order a pizza delivery without a credit card.

"We make sure our drivers know where they're going," said Michael Dalesandro, manager of Fox's Pizza Den in Fairfield.

The drivers also carry flashlights and pepper spray, and carry the least amount of cash possible.

Steve Krimmer, 31, co-owner of Italianette Pizza in Silverton, limits the cash drivers carry and asks customers to put their porch lights on.

One of his drivers was struck with a crutch and had his food stolen, but "normally we don't have too many problems."

10 most dangerous jobs in America

Below, America's top 10 most dangerous jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics:

1. Timber cutters.

2. Fishers.

3. Pilots and navigators.

4. Structural metal workers (e.g. bridge builders).

5. Driver-sales workers (e.g. pizza delivery drivers).

6. Roofers.

7. Electrical power installers.

8. Farm occupations.

9. Construction laborers.

10. Truck drivers

(Traffic accidents contribute to statistics for driver-sales workers, although nearly 25 percent of deaths occur from robberies and assaults.)

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Stephenie Steitzer contributed to this report. E-mail bweathers@enquirer.com




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