In the span of less than an hour early Monday morning, three Elm City pizza deliverymen were victims of attempted robberies, two of which were successful.
According to a New Haven Police Department press release, officers responded to a robbery report just before 1 a.m. from a 57-year-old deliveryman for USA 1 Pizza, located on Grand Avenue in the Fair Haven neighborhood. The deliveryman told police that when he arrived at Wilcox Place to deliver a pizza, he called the customer and was told to wait. A man approached the car and told the deliveryman that the address was across the street. When the deliveryman crossed the street, a masked man with a knife appeared. The two men then demanded the deliveryman’s money and physically assaulted him. EMTs soon arrived on the scene, but the victim did not require hospitalization.
The unmasked perpetrator is a Hispanic man roughly 5 feet 8 inches tall with short, dark hair, according to the NHPD. The other man, who wore a mask, is also about 5 feet 8 inches.
The NHPD has not yet apprehended the perpetrators; both men face first-degree robbery charges, second-degree larceny charges, third-degree assault charges and conspiracy to commit all three, according to the press release.
An employee at USA 1 Pizza confirmed Monday night that the robbery had occurred, and said the pizza parlor had experienced a robbery a few years ago. He said that USA 1 Pizza deliverymen were not concerned about another robbery, and would continue delivering as usual.
At 1:17 a.m., NHPD officers responded to a second robbery report from a 43-year-old deliveryman for Alpha Delta Pizza, located on Elm Street. The deliveryman alleged that while attempting to find an address on Pine Street, also in Fair Haven, he pulled over and was approached by three men. One man claimed he had ordered the pizza but was short a few dollars. As the deliveryman called his boss to check if he should still complete the delivery, one man opened the car door and attempted to take the pizza, while another tried to take the deliveryman’s wallet and the third brandished a handgun.
“The delivery man hit the gas and took off. The pizza and wallet remained with him. Although he struck a parked car during his escape, he made it unharmed,” according to the press release.
According to the NHPD, the three perpetrators in this incident were described as “young black men.”
Twenty minutes after the second incident, NHPD officers responded to a third reported robbery at Wintergreen Avenue and Level Street. According to the press release, a 29-year-old driver alleged that as he delivered a pizza to a man he recognized as a past customer, another man with a gun approached him. The deliveryman gave up his cash, and the two men got into the front seat of his delivery car. In an attempt to save his car, the deliveryman got into the backseat, but the men told him to leave. The deliveryman was able to find his car by returning to the location where he had last delivered a pizza to the customer he had recognized, according to the press release. The NHPD did not specify which pizza restaurant this deliveryman worked for.
According to the NHPD, one of the perpetrators in this third incident is a black man in his mid-20s with short hair, a medium build, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and wearing a black-and-gray North Face jacket. The other is a black man in his early 20s with short hair, a heavy build and about 5 feet 6 inches tall, also wearing a North Face jacket.
The two men face first-degree robbery charges, second-degree larceny charges, carjacking charges and conspiracy to commit all three charges.
As of Monday night, the NHPD had not determined if the three cases were related, but that it remained a possibility.
Jan. 24: This article has been updated to reflect a correction issued by the New Haven Police Department. A deliveryman was robbed at Wilcox Place, not Walcott Place.