Pizza man robbed in Champaign

Pizza man robbed in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign police are looking for three men responsible for robbing a pizza delivery man in Champaign Thursday night.

Sgt. Dave Griffet said police were called to the 1200 block of Gertrude Avenue in northwest Champaign at 7:26 p.m.

A delivery man for Prime Time Pizza reported that he was accosted by three men who robbed him of two pizzas and a bottle of soda.

The delivery man said one of the trio had a gun, which he believed to be fake, Griffet said. Descriptions of the robbers were incomplete.

The delivery man was not physically hurt. The robbers ran away on foot.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on December 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm

The owner has the right to not serve customers.  Do not deliver pizzas to areas where the drivers have been robbed.

thats right wrote on December 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm

The owners will NOT stop delivering to the areas which seem to be a problem. I have known a few people that have delivered for Prime Time and they are constantly allowing their drivers and staff to be put in bad situations like this. The 'ghetto' is about 95% of thier business because they are the only place in town that will deliver to those areas and on top of that there is a VERY SMALL delivery minimum. So the broke thug living at grandma's on JoAnn can order an order of breadsticks and a can of soda and they will send a driver out. Then they have to make the other customers, that WERE ordering a decent amout of food, wait longer because they are tied up in the ghetto with an order of breadsticks. They refuse to stop delivering to those kinds of places because they have lost the rest of their business because they are catering to the likes of people that are more apt to robbing them.  They used to be a good pizza joint. Now they are the pizza of the ghetto.  

rsp wrote on December 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Your post doesn't even make sense. Where do you think they are located? Breadsticks and pop? No sauce to dip them in? Grandma won't buy him a calzone to go with the breadsticks? If they lost the rest of their business they better keep hustling those good breadsticks, don't you think? Except I see them driving all the time all over. So they can't just be going to Grandma's house. I guess he didn't share any of those breadsticks with you, did he? And we both know they are not the only people who will deliver over there. 

rsp wrote on December 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm

If they stopped delivering to areas based on where people were robbed they wouldn't make any deliveries. They could be better at protecting their drivers though. 

LocalTownie wrote on December 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm

1. Why should good paying customers be shunned because of some criminals? Wouldn't it be a better solution for these thugs to be caught and locked up?

2. I live on Joanne, have lived here for ten years. I've ordered pizza from many different places, Monicals, Rosattis, Pizza Hut, Dominos, etc. We've never ordered food for delivery and been told "oh I'm sorry you live in the ghetto, we don't deliver there".

3. Garden Hills North of the tracks (where these robberies are occuring) is NOT the ghetto. Most of the people living in my area are upstanding, law-abiding, middle class families. I think you need to see what a real ghetto is, because this isn't it. You need to get out more.

4. Maybe the pizza companies need to stop taking cash, only deliver orders that are pre-paid with a card. Maybe the person expecting a delivery needs to turn on their porch light and be waiting for the delivery driver to arrive so that driver isn't left standing on their porch, vulnerable. This should apply to deliveries in every neighborhood, robberies happen everywhere.



alabaster jones 71 wrote on December 22, 2012 at 4:12 am
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If Prime Time had any common sense, they would stop taking deliveries to the whole Garden Hills area for at least a few weeks.  This is the third delivery driver (and the second Prime Time driver) who has been robbed in that neighborhood in the past couple weeks.  I wonder if it was the same driver who got robbed again.

There is some truth to that's right's post.  Prime Time is not exactly the best place in town to delivery drive for, unless you think that driving several miles to a bad neighborhood at night and not getting tipped sounds worth your time.  

They get very little business on campus compared to other delivery joints, so they have to make up for it by going to places where the others won't.  They will even take deliveries to Mahomet, Philo, St. Joe, Tolono, Rantoul, etc.  I can't imagine how a Prime Time delivery driver even makes enough in tips to cover the cost of gas to take his deliveries.

There are plenty of precautions a driver can and should take to make himself or herself safer.  On all deliveries, a driver should leave their phone, wallet, and all money except the change for the customer in the car.  If a driver arrives at the delivery address and the customer's door is not well-lit, they should stay in their car, call the customer, and ask them to come to the door and to turn their lights on if possible.  When I delivered, and I had to go to address that made me uncomfortable, I would unplug my topper and hide it in the car in order to attract less attention when I arrived.  Carrying mace or a knife isn't a bad idea either, if allowed by your employer.

OttoMann wrote on December 22, 2012 at 7:12 am

     As an employee of Prime Time who was working on the night in question, I feel I should try to clear the air about the reality of our situation at present.

     For starters, as Prime Time is a small privately owned company, there is a neccessity to pretty much serve anyone and everyone we can. We try to do that, and usually we have satisfied customers. Maybe we are'nt serving campus as much as we used to, but like every city Champaign-Urbana has grown in every direction, so there's more competition to consider (especially on campus). Added to that the cost of building rent, electricity, water, gas, and the cost of inventory, there's little we can do but serve whoever wants it.

     On the subject of the "ghetto" and drivers being robbed, I think people don't see the whole picture. The Garden Hills area in question usually poses little to no problem to us. Occasionally someone tries to scam us for free pizza in that area, but the same can be said of certain areas in Urbana as well, and of other more "well to do" areas in town. The percentage of scammers remains lower than that of normal customers however, and like all businesses we have our fair share of regulars.

     I work with both the drivers from our store who were recently assaulted. Both are good, smart, hard working drivers and both were undeserving of the misfortune they happened upon, and if I had 5 minutes alone with their attackers I would be ruthless. However, blocking off the whole Garden Hills area would be like cutting off your foot because one time you had an ingrown toenail. There are many decent hard working people who live in that area and it's not up to some idiot 16 year old who thinks he's tough to decide if those good people can order pizza for delivery. There's only one area of town Prime Time doesn't deliver to because of robberies, and it only got banned because of the frequency and consistency of occurances of attacks.

     Unfortunately there isn't much that any pizza delivery company can do to keep drivers safe. Once they leave on a delivery they become big boys and we cannot watch over them anymore. There is an understanding that since the driver is essentially working "alone" they will both not be wasting time and will be smart about every delivery. In the end it comes down to them, and if they think that they're in a dengerous situation they need to get out. At Prime Time we value our drivers safety above the cost of lost food.

     Unfortunately not all robberies are so transparent. This one was just a normal order until the knuckle dragging mouth breathing troglodytes attacked. Everyone at Prime Time is devastated when a driver is hurt in an attack, and graciously relieved when they are not. We are glad to have our driver unharmed, hope the chuckleheads get caught, and hope there aren't any more incidents. We try our best to serve our customers, just please understand that we are limited.

     I hope this enlightens minds to Prime Time's side of the situation, and hopefully it hasn't bored you. Perhaps, if you haven't ordered in a long time (or maybe you've never ordered), maybe you'll give us a try and form your own opinion of us. Thank you for reading this.

rsp wrote on December 25, 2012 at 11:12 pm

We've ordered from Prime Time and always liked it. There was a time when another company wouldn't deliver to my house because I lived in a "bad neighborhood". They did deliver to my next door neighbor's house though. And they would drive by my house to go to the college kids where they got ripped off. They were robbed more on campus than anywhere but they still sold there. I kept calling and talking to the manager about red-lining. They changed their policy.

Drivers need to be aware of their surroundings. If it looks unfamiliar drive by and look around. It will only take a minute. Customers need to look out for the people who are bringing them food, too. Turn on the light and watch. Have your phone handy. I always tip good so they remember my house.