Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News
Pizza delivery drivers are on alert after a string of robberies in the Oak Cliff and Pleasant Grove ares of Dallas.
Dallas pizza delivery people have been robbed three times in the past week, two of them Thursday night.
The robberies in Oak Cliff and Pleasant Grove have stores and neighbors on edge.
According to police reports, around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, a driver for the Pizza Hut in the 2200 block of South Buckner was held up at gunpoint in the 10300 block of Whitingham Drive by two people.
The driver lost $310 cash.
Whitingham neighbor Gerald Green said pizza drivers should not carry so much cash.
"That's not a good idea to have that much money on you, especially around here," he said.
Pizza Hut store manager Leticia Contreras said drivers are trained to carry only a small amount of change and the cash was the driver's personal money.
She said safety is the top priority in pizza delivery and some destinations may become off limits, especially at night.
"I remember at one point, we tried to order a pizza where I stay at," Green said. "They wouldn't deliver in this neighborhood for a while."
At about 9:30 p.m., a driver for the Domino’s at 4800 Sunnyvale was robbed at gunpoint in the 4600 block of Stokes Street near Interstate 45 and Loop 12.
According to a police report, the people ran up on the driver in the dark from a vacant lot beside a delivery address that neighbors say is vacant house.
"The one that used to stay in there, he was an old guy and he passed away, so it's kind of been different people coming in and out of there," neighbor Marcell Dobin said.
His wife worries that drivers won't return to deliver the pizza that their children enjoy.
"They should feel safe to come over here," Loretta Dobin said.
Manager Isaac Soto at the Sunnyvale Domino's store said drivers are told to drive away from homes they discover to be vacant.
He said certain apartment complexes are off-limits. Deliveries to others are made only at the front gate and deliveries are refused to some places at night.
Last Saturday night, a driver from a Domino's at 2551 Fort Worth Ave. was beaten up for his pizzas in the 1900 block of Shaw Street, according to police reports.
Aside from the fact they all involve pizza, detectives do not believe the cases are related, Dallas police spokeswoman Melinda Gutierrez said.
No arrests have been made.
Domino's corporate spokesman Tim McIntyre said safety is a top priority for the company, which delivers more than a million times per day. An increase in online ordering has reduced the use of cash, he said.
He issued the following statement:
We work with local law enforcement to help us identify potential trouble spots in any community. Our goal is to deliver to every address within our individual trade areas, but sometimes we've been forced by incidents to take other actions, from curbing deliveries after a specific time of night or eliminating individual streets altogether. If a store has a restricted section within its delivery area, the owner is required by our policy to review it annually to see if it can/should be reopened.