How can customers help keep delivery drivers safe?

Fox 8 Photo
Fox 8 Photo

Pizza delivery drivers prepared for the first weekend rush since a driver was killed last weekend.

Two 16-year-olds are charged with the murder of 35-year-old Richard Yaeger, a part-time Domino's Pizza delivery man.

The owner of G's Pizza, formally Magazine Pizza, Gokmen Guler, said Yaeger is on all his employees' minds.

"Of course they were being nervous, and one of the guys - he quit after that," said Guler. "He said I'm being nervous about it, and really I don't want to be a delivery driver. I'm going to find another kind of job. My safety is really important."

"My mom told me to stop delivering after that," said G's Pizza delivery driver Christopher Andrade.

However, Guler said, most drivers decided not to quit.

Christopher Andrade, 21 works at night, and he studies computer networking at Delgado during the day. He let FOX 8 tag along for a delivery Friday evening.

"It was very weird because I used to work for Domino's, like last year," said Andrade.

Andrade said the policies to stay safe are similar at both restaurants. He said he never carries much cash on him, and often calls to make sure the customer is home before getting out of the car. At Domino's, he said, there were areas he was told not to deliver to based on crime statistics.

"If it's a particularly bad area, you won't take the delivery. Unfortunately that delivery he took that was kind of right over there doesn't fall in that category," Andrade said, pointing to St. Louis Street.

After delivering a pizza just after midnight to a home at the corner of St. Louis and Dupre, police said Richard Yaeger was shot 10 times.

Two teens, Rendell Brown and Shane Hughes, are charged with murder and will be tried as adults.

Monday evening, Guler said he told all of his drivers not to make deliveries if they don't feel safe in the area.

"If the street is really being dark, if there is not enough light, please don't deliver the food. Come back here because my delivery drivers' safety is more important than making money for me," said Guler.

As they gear up for the first weekend rush since the murder, Andrade said it's all about knowing your surroundings and not hanging around outside any longer than you have to. Andrade said customers can help by keeping porch lights on.

"Obviously you see more, and it's more of a crime deterrent if the lights are on. It's also easier to see the addresses. I've seen several times on a dimly lit street where it's really hard to find the house, so you're kind of there longer than you want to be," said Andrade.

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