by Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette — Falls police are investigating a reported armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver late Wednesday.
According to reports, at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, a driver for Sammy’s Pizzeria, 1400 Hyde Park Blvd., attempted to deliver a pizza to an apartment building on the corner of 19th and Falls streets when an unknown man approached him and demanded his money.
The driver said the man, described as 5-foot-9, husky build, wearing a black ski mask and dark clothes, rounded a corner inside the building as he was attempting to deliver to apartment No. 2 and began waving a machete and said “give me your money or I will kill you.”
He told police he handed over his wallet, containing $98 cash and his Medicare and Social Security cards, and returned to Sammy’s to report the incident.
Sam Musolino, owner of Sammy’s Pizzeria, said the order sounded sketchy in hindsight.
“It was definitely a setup,” he said. “You could tell because they wanted him to call before he left the store for the delivery.”
Delivery drivers — including those who deliver pizzas and other food — consistently appear in the listing of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in America, put out by the U.S. Department of Labor.
In response, some companies restrict times drivers are asked to deliver, while others permit drivers to carry legal weapons to protect themselves.
Musolino said he’s considering combatting the inherent dangers by changing his staffing. He said he’s considering sending a second person in each driver’s vehicle to help protect his employees, while they’ll also be required to carry less money.
He said his drivers also refuse to deliver to areas they know have resulted in robberies or other crimes in the past.
“It happens every two or three years,” he said. “They’ve just gotta be more cautious.”