Things have gotten tough for that gallant breed of American who provide a life-giving service to their country -- delivery people for pizza shops. They increasingly have become crime victims.
Today, add to this growing list Wayne C. Richardson, a guy who runs pizzas for the Domino's store in the 500 block of S. Camp Meade Road in Linthicum Heights. He didn't get robbed, but he got shot at and wrecked his car getting away from a gunman.
Nearly every day, police reports reflect scattered incidents in the Baltimore area in which employees of pizza businesses get thumped on the head by thugs or robbed at gunpoint. Insult is added to injury when thieves not only steal the delivery person's money, they steal his automobile. And the pizza.
In the past three days, at least three delivery people were robbed at gunpoint, knifepoint and in otherwise threatening manners in northeast Baltimore alone.
Richardson's case went a stop beyond that.
About 2 a.m. today, Anne Arundel County police said, Richardson, 22, was escorting his manager to make a night deposit at Maryland National Bank in the 200 block of Benton Ave.
Richardson told officers that before he went to make the deposit, he drove his car to the rear of the bank to make certain it was safe.
There, he saw a man lying in the grass, wearing a ski mask and holding a rifle. Richardson threw the gearshift into reverse and the car roared backward as the gunman opened fire. One bullet hit his car.
At this moment of truth, Richardson said, he lost control of his car. The vehicle overturned and injured Richardson. The rifleman fled.
Richardson was taken to Harbor Hospital Center, where he was treated and released. The manager was not hurt.
"Pizza robberies have been quite a problem for several years now," said V. Richard Molloy, county police spokesman. "The criminals make bogus orders and rob the delivery people of their money, their pizzas, and sometimes they make their getaways in the victim's delivery car."