The Tampa Police Department is investigating numerous apparent linked delivery driver robberies in the 2200 block of Osborne Avenue.
A Papa John’s delivery driver was bringing pizza to an address labeled as 2223 East Osborne Avenue, Apartment C, which does not exist, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. When the driver couldn’t find the apartment, he phoned the customer, who directed him to meet him at the complex’s back entrance, where four youths were waiting.
According to authorities, one of the suspects was carrying a knife and was dressed in a black sweatshirt, a beige cap, and red sweatpants.
According to officers, another suspect snatched the order and all four kids left the scene.
“It’s unfortunate that we live in a time when you have to be concerned about something like this happening to you while you’re just doing your job,” said Tampa PD Public Information Officer Joneé Lewis. “And you’re doing it at the convenience of the customer.”
Another heist that occurred Tuesday in the same neighborhood involved a Domino’s delivery driver and is suspected to be related to the crime on Wednesday night, according to the police department.
“Well, another delivery driver reported a similar incident, so that’s part of what we’re investigating to determine,” Lewis said. “Are these two incidents related, because they happened in the same general area.”
Police want to remind delivery drivers to be aware of their surroundings, to avoid delivery locations that appear unsafe, to never leave their vehicles, and to never be redirected to another address or location after placing an order, as customers should provide clear instructions for delivery in a well-lit area.
“As a result of this, we are going to increase patrols in this general area because we have seen this happen a couple of times this week already and we just want delivery drivers to know that we’re there for them,” said Lewis. “You should be able to do your job and you should be able to feel safe doing your job.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Tampa Police Department at 813-231-6130 or Crimestoppers at 800-873-8477.
This is still under investigation.