Metro police work with restaurants to protect delivery drivers

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Police are working with Nashville restaurants to help keep delivery drivers safe.

Metro police have investigated a number of robberies that targeted delivery drivers, including some in North Nashville. Police have since arrested two 16-year-old boys and charged them with nine counts of aggravated robbery.

Police said the teens robbed multiple pizza delivery drivers over the course of eight incidents.

Officers are now meeting with businesses that offer food delivery to give them best practices for protecting their employees.

“If somebody is going to rob a delivery driver, they get to pick where to do the robbery because they are calling that victim to them,” East Nashville Precinct Community Affairs Coordinator Sgt. Michael Fisher said. “They can go out and look for an ideal spot to perpetrate the crime and catch the victim by surprise.”

Sgt. Fisher and other community affairs coordinators are meeting with restaurants to discuss delivery policies and the best ways to keep workers from being targeted.

In some cases, the driver is not only robbed of their food and company money.

“They have turned from not just the robbery of cash and pizza,” Sgt. Fisher said. “We have had carjackings and they have robbed the driver themselves.”

Metro police suggest restaurants only take credit card payments for food deliveries after dark and tell customers to make sure their porch lights are on when the food driver arrives.

They also recommend restaurants call the number left by the person ordering before sending out a delivery.

“That is one of the things we have seen in the past is a driver will pull up to an address and all the lights are out,” Sgt. Fisher said. “It looks abandoned but the driver still gets out of the car.”

He added, “Also, drivers should not leave their cars running when they go up to a door to make a delivery.”

News 2 spoke to a pizza delivery person off-camera who said he makes it a point to call the delivery number back before stopping.

“It’s our company policy that if we call you back and you don’t answer, we don’t have to make the delivery,” he said. “You have to know your surroundings and atmosphere when making a delivery, especially at night.”

The man said he has delivered pizzas for more than four years and has not had a problem.