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Pizza delivery drivers robbed a week apart in Tarpon Springs

11:50 PM, May 18, 2013   |    comments
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TARPON SPRINGS, Florida -- The Tarpon Springs Police Department is looking into whether the robberies and attacks of two separate pizza delivery drivers are connected.

The first happened on Friday, May 10 when a Pizza Hut delivery driver was called to a home 719 S. Disston Avenue. When he arrived, two men approached and robbed him at gunpoint.

"Basically, we deployed a Pinellas Co. Sheriff's Office K9. They responded, checked the area, and lost the track," said Sgt. Ed Miller, spokesperson for the Tarpon Springs Police Department.

Joshua Payne, manager of the Pizza Hut where the victim worked, does not understand why someone would target a pizza delivery driver. "I think it's stupid because you're targeting delivery drivers that have $15 to $60 maybe at the most on them, and that's not a lot of money," he said.

Since the robbery, he has made changes, such as double-checking orders that come from the neighborhood where his driver was attacked.

"Any deliveries in that area we have to call the customer back and we have to verify that the order is a legitimate order, and if there is no answer we're just not going to send them out, because we don't want to jeopardize the delivery driver's safety," Payne said.

The suspect holding the rifle is described as 6'2", 150 lbs., with dreads to his shoulders. and he's in his twenties.

A second suspect, who used a handgun, is described as 5'10", 175 lbs., also in his twenties, and he had short popcorn dreads.

A week later, a delivery driver who works for the Papa John's on U.S. Highway 19 was attacked and robbed. The man was at the corner of Lime Street and Disston Avenue when two men flagged him down, telling him there was something in his tire.

"When he got out of the car, he was struck from behind by another black male ... they were kicking and punching him," said Sgt. Ed Miller, spokesperson for the Tarpon Springs Police Department.

The driver was only able to describe one of his attacker as a light-skinned black male, but described the second man as 5'8", very fit, wearing no shirt, dark shorts, and light Air Jordan sneakers.

Police are not sure that both crimes are linked, since the descriptions in each case varies.

Anyone with information on either crime is urged to call the Tarpon Springs Police Department at 727-938-2849.

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