AKRON, Ohio (WJW)-- A rash of pizza delivery robberies prompted Akron police to launch a safety campaign to educate drivers across the city on how to recognize when they're in danger and how to protect themselves.
On Monday, the hold-ups continued when a driver from the Domino's on East Market Street thought he was making a legitimate delivery to a home on Fourth Avenue. The house was vacant and when no one came to the door, the driver attempted to call the customer. Police said that's when two young men came from the back of the house, threatened him with a gun and robbed him of cash and pizza.
Residents who depend on deliveries said the robbers are giving their neighborhood a bad name.
"It's going to make the people not want to deliver to us. It kind of makes me sad because I can't get out and drive or nothing and I can barely walk,” Lisa Carper said.
Investigators said hours after the robbery of the Domino’s driver, the same young men tried the stunt with a Papa John's driver at the same house, but they were in for quite a surprise.
"The moment they started to come around the house, I pulled a firearm and they ran," the driver said on the 911 call.
The Papa John's driver has a permit to carry a concealed weapon and was willing to use the gun to protect himself.
"I kind of walked toward the side of the house, and when I did, the three of them were trying to sneak up the side of the house and I drew on them, because they were pulling at their hips," the driver said.
Residents of the neighborhood are saluting the driver for standing up to the criminals.
“Hero, good guy, if that's what it takes to scare them off, do it,” Carper said.
“That's cool, oh yeah, that's cool. He was awesome, that's what I'm trying to say," neighbor Bradley Dingle said.
Akron police said they are now planning a second round of safety meetings to educate delivery drivers.