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New Kensington man accused of robbing pizza delivery driver

| Friday, June 6, 2014, 1:01 a.m.
Aaron Walker

A New Kensington man accused of robbing a pizza delivery driver this week got a $24 pizza and $26 in cash, police said.

Perhaps Aaron Michael Walker, 20, of 174 Esther Ave., should have left the pizza behind, because police say they found the empty pizza box and delivery order receipt in his bedroom.

Now he faces a felony robbery charge.

New Kensington Detective Sgt. Robert Deringer said a Papa John's Pizza driver told police he was taking an order to 176 Esther Ave. at about 10 p.m. Monday when he found no one was home. It turned out no one lives there.

But a young man approached the delivery man out of the darkness.

The driver told police the man was wearing black clothing and held what he thought was a gun, pointing it at the driver's chest.

When the robber demanded money, the driver gave him $26 and tried to walk away. But the robber was angry and screamed, “No! Get over here. Where's your money?”

With no more cash, the delivery man said he opened the pizza carrier and asked the robber to take the pizza. When the robber took it and walked away, the driver fled. He called a manager and waited for police several blocks away.An investigation showed the pizza was ordered by a man, written in pizza shop records as Erin, who gave a telephone number — and then changed it by one digit.

Deringer said police tracked the original number to a family who lives next door to the delivery address along Esther Avenue. Deringer said when police knocked on the door, a woman invited them in and consented to a search.

According to police, the woman said her son, Aaron, was the only one home on Monday night.

When checking the home's telephone for recent outgoing calls, police found a call listed to the nearby Papa John's, at 215 Tarentum Bridge Road. A date didn't appear for the call, but it was the most recent call made, Deringer said.

Upon getting a search warrant, police wentto Walker's room.

Police allegedly found a empty box and delivery receipt for a bacon and pepperoni pizza ordered at 9:40 p.m. Monday for delivery to what turned out to be the vacant house next to Walker's. Walker was arrested late Wednesday and arraigned Thursday morning.

District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr. ordered Walker sent to the Westmoreland County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond pending a June 19 preliminary hearing.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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