IPD seeking suspect who robbed food delivery driver in Ithaca's west end

January 10, 2016 by Mark H. Anbinder

Ithaca police say a food delivery driver was robbed late Saturday night in Ithaca's west end. No one was injured in the robbery.

Police aren't identifying the victim or his employer, but say they were alerted just before 11pm on Saturday that a delivery driver had been robbed after food had been ordered for delivery to the 200 block of Cleveland Avenue.

IPD says the delivery driver had been instructed to call the customer when he arrived, and he did so. A subject then knocked on the car window, the driver exited the car with the food, and the subject tore the bag of food from the delivery driver's hands and fled on foot. According to police, the driver reported that the suspect had dropped a knife while fleeing, but that the knife had not been displayed or used during the crime.

Jamie McVannan, owner of Ithaca's Papa John's Pizza franchise, says his staff were not involved in this incident, but "We had one or two situations in the past ten years where our drivers knew they were being set up." He says "We teach and preach 'constant awareness,' carry very little money, and if something doesn't seem quite right, return to the store and we will reassess the delivery."

The suspect was described by the victim as being a black male, about 5'5" and 150 pounds, wearing a red, hooded sweatshirt, and a black scarf over his face. Police believe the suspect is the same person who called in the order, and IPD Sergeant Barry Banfield tells us police are "still looking" at the phone number provided with the order.

Sgt. Banfield says IPD urges delivery drivers "to be alert and aware of their surroundings, and to call police immediately if encountering any suspicious activity."

Police are continuing to investigate the incident, and ask that anyone with information that might aid the investigation contact the criminal investigations unit through police dispatch at 607-272-3245, the administration line at 607-272-9973, the Crimestoppers Tipline at 607-697-0333, or the anonymous online tip form.

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