Undercover St. Louis County police to deliver pizzas in wake of driver killings


ST. LOUIS COUNTY Your next pizza order could arrive at the door in the hands of an undercover police officer.
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch on Thursday announced an unusual plan to have undercover cops deliver pizzas to parts of St. Louis County to deter armed robberies.
If its a legitimate pizza order, theyre not going to know its a police officer, Fitch said. If a person has a sinister motive and they decide to rob one of our officers, its not going to be pretty.
The strategy comes after Imos driver Brian W. Johnson was fatally shot Monday night while taking three pizzas to a home in Dellwood. Johnson, 39, was found dead in his car after being robbed of the pizzas and a cellphone.
Prosecutors have charged Earon Rivers, 17, in the killing. Police said they found him in a house with the empty pizza boxes and murder weapon. They also arrested three other teens and are pursuing charges against them.
Johnson was the second Imos pizza delivery driver slain in St. Louis County in six months. Imos driver Daniil Maksimenko, 22, was shot May 20 while delivering a pizza in Hillsdale, about five miles south of where Johnson was killed.
Fitch said he has never tried such a crime prevention idea before. Officers who typically work undercover drug cases will be assigned to pizza delivery, as needed, starting as early as Friday in areas where similar robberies have occurred. He said police are working with Imos and talking with other pizzerias that make deliveries in central and north St. Louis County and Florissant.
Police also will be working with pizza shops to help them identify orders that seem suspicious.
The officers who will deliver pizzas have experience with the dangers of making undercover drug buys, Fitch said.
They usually have a good inkling when they think something is going to go bad, he said. It absolutely will be putting officers in harms way, but thats what they do every day.
Fitch said his plan has no end date; he will evaluate its effectiveness later.
All tips earned by officers will be turned over to drivers whose place police took, Fitch said.
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-county-police-to-deliver-pizzas-in-wake-of/article_87476220-420f-5d6b-a91f-920cbe36aa84.html
The drivers should also get the heads of the thug thieves the police find during the operation.
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http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-county-police-to-deliver-pizzas-in-wake-of/article_87476220-420f-5d6b-a91f-920cbe36aa84.html
I'm not sure how smart it was to tip off the media to this operation, but I agree. There's no lower life form than someone who would rob a guy trying to earn a living on a pizza deliveryman's salary. My only hope is that the robbers resist arrest. Fatally.
-- Bobby G.
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Personally it seems brilliant. The nefarious types now have no idea as to who is the cop and who is the not-cop. Hopefully they will stay away from all instead of playing the lottery.
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Would be a lot cheaper and easier, if the pizza companies would change the rules. Legal gun owners may carry at work.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Personally it seems brilliant. The nefarious types now have no idea as to who is the cop and who is the not-cop. Hopefully they will stay away from all instead of playing the lottery.
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Maybe, but I don;t know of many mom and pop pizza places who would want to take on the liability. We have a Kroger store here where a manager took out an armed perp and the store is being sued by the parents of the ne'er-do-well anyway. Couldn't come after the manager, but they are going after the store.
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You are assuming the idiots are able and willing to read.
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I am assuming that some of the idiots are able to read and complain loudly about the injustice to their less literate cohorts.
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I agree. Arming pizza drivers, usually young kids who often can't drive safely (anyone hear the term "Domino Pizza Rocket"?) doesn't seem to be the proper solution. For one thing, they probably can't afford a decent gun (otherwise they'd probably have a better job) and they aren't trained for anticrime work. It's interesting how insurers shape behavior. When I changed home insurers, they were concerned about some interesting things like "do I have a dog and what breed?" I'm sure that the *wrong* answers would have jumped my premium.
Armed teenage pizza drivers seems to be something that might raise premiums. On the other hand, I am sure that pizza chains have been sued for wrongful death by the families of slain drivers. If they said he *couldn't* carry a gun as a condition of employment in a right-to-carry state, I imagine they might be sued if he got shot. The real solution is to remove from society thugs that think killing a pizza driver is a good way to make money. It's a low reward, high risk crime. Catch them and air drop them into Iran.
Even cops sometimes manage to get themselves killed or injured on such decoy assignments because they get complacent. They've also got at least a pizza in their hands to encumber them. Often the perps aren't even residents of the house who address they've used, but are lurking somewhere on the route. If they decide to just shoot and rob from covered ambush, even an experienced officer could get shot.
So yes, Bob, it's probably not a good idea to arm pizza drivers to catch these kinds of creeps. The police are better suited because of their training and because one mistake by an armed driver could bankrupt the pizza store or even the chain.
NYC has had a similar problem with the murder of livery cab drivers resulting in a controversial law that allows police to stop livery cabs and demand ID of the passengers. Livery drivers are dispatched by radio to customers and cannot pick up people who hail them on the street.
-- Bobby G.
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Really? I've seen a pizza delivery guy who was so fat he had to reach across his body his right hand to close the car door. I've seen pizza delivery kids with so many pimples he looked like a pizza himself.
The bad guys might not always know who is a cop, but I'm pretty sure they'll be able to spot many that definitely are not. Those are the ones they can rob if they so choose.
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Who but a complete moron or drug user would rob a pizza guy? Risk going to jail over chump change? We need to knock off this stupid "war on drugs" crap and deal with drugs in a sane manner.
It appears WA and CO have taken such a step, recently legalizing simple marijuana possesion/use. OTH, it's a slap in the face to a HUGE industry and CO is one of the largest states supporting commercial prisons. Total insanity, all of it. :(
nb
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