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Robbers target pizza delivery men

| Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Scott Township police are looking for armed robbers who successfully held up one pizza delivery driver over the weekend, but ran off after a second driver refused to give them money.

Police Sgt. Jim Secreet said authorities are considering the possibility that the same two teenage boys or young men held up both drivers.

Yaroslav Lutsiv, who delivers for Pizza Outlet on East Main Street in Carnegie, told police he was returning to his car at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday after making a delivery on Bell Avenue in Scott, when the two robbers approached him.

They were black, about 6 feet tall, between 180 and 200 pounds and wearing Ninja masks — one red and one black, he said, and a small, white dog was following one of them.

Both showed automatic pistols, according to the police report.

One demanded the money, Lutsiv said Tuesday. But they were about 7 meters — or about 23 feet — away from him, and he said the handgun he could see clearly looked like a plastic toy.

Lutsiv, 23, who emigrated from Ukraine 1 1 / 2 years ago, shouted at the robbers in his native Russian. He believes his shouting scared them, causing them to run. Lutsiv told police one of them stopped and grabbed the dog, and they ran toward Idlewood Avenue.

Earlier, at about 11:37 p.m. Saturday, Ahmed Muaydh, a driver from Raya's Pizzeria in Carnegie was robbed along Idlewood Avenue.

Police said two men approached Muaydh as he was walking from his car to a house to make a delivery.

One brandished a large, dark-colored revolver and demanded money. Muaydh gave them about $100 cash and the insulated container with the pizza he was delivering, and they fled toward Bell Avenue, police said.

The residents at the address where the driver expected to make a delivery told police they had not ordered pizza. The men were described as black, 19 or 20 years old, armed and wearing masks of an unspecified type. One was described as 6 feet tall with a medium build, the other, 5 feet 9 inches tall with a stocky build.

Secreet said these incidents were the first delivery drivers robbed in Scott in several years.

Other areas, though, have had recent robberies. Dormont police warned delivery restaurants to carefully check the addresses on orders, after a delivery driver was robbed May 8.

Pittsburgh police said four or five drivers have been robbed so far this year in city neighborhoods near Dormont and Green Tree. Five drivers were robbed in November and December in Knoxville.

"We can go a whole month with none, then have several in the same month," Pittsburgh police Sgt. Walter Long said.

Richard Calarise, manager of the Pizza Outlet in Carnegie, where Lutsiv works, said drivers are told not to carry more than $20 and to hand over the money if a robber demands it. "Give them the money — life is more important than money," Calarise said.

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