HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- A routine pizza delivery on the first day of the New Year turns into a "fight to survive" according to the man who says he was robbed and beaten while on the job.
Jerad Jenkins-Bell says he is a part-time delivery driver for the Domino's Pizza on Mastin Lake Road. He was delivering a pizza to a house in the 3300 block of East Helena Drive shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday. He says four men attacked him when he arrived and that one of them pulled out a pellet gun. The men allegedly took the food plus money.
A Huntsville Police report states that the driver was able to return to his store to call police. Police found that the address he went to was a vacant house.
The offenders were not located in the area. No arrests have been made.
Tim McIntyre, Vice President of Communications for Domino's Pizza LLC provided WHNT News 19 with the following statement:
"We deliver more than 1 million times a day and have been in business for 53 years. We've taken delivery team member safety seriously from Day One. In addition to providing our team members with safety and security training programs, we have a number of policies and procedures in place to help ensure their safety to the best of our ability. We're perhaps best known for not allowing our drivers to carry a lot of cash, and with the growing segment on online and digital ordering, many customers are choosing to pay by credit card, which also keeps drivers from being targets. We also provide our drivers with full authority to follow their instincts - if they are approaching an address that appears to too dark or abandoned, we tell them to keep driving. We do not want them approaching buildings that could be hiding potential robbers.
Sometimes, though, even when you follow all of the training, you can still be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and there are bad people out there. Whenever you are the victim of a robbery, your "job" is to make sure you get out of the situation quickly and safely. Resisting a robbery is often the reason people are injured or worse. We encourage our team members to hand over the food and the small amount of change in their pockets and let the robber get on his way. Those things (money, pizza) can be replaced - you can't."
Huntsville Police officers have several tips for you if you find yourself involved in a robbery.
What is a Robbery?
Robbery means the taking of money or other property from the custody of a person or owner with the intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or owner through use of force, violence, assault or putting in fear.
It can happen to Anyone, at Anytime, at Anyplace!
* Walk in well-lit areas. If possible, never walk alone.
* Be aware of your surroundings. If you think you are being followed, go to a crowded area.
* Do NOT carry large amounts of money.
* Carry keys in your hand.
* If you observe suspicious persons or activities, call Law Enforcement to investigate.
In the event a robber confronts you
* Do not take any action that could jeopardize your personal safety or the safety of others.
* Remain calm and do as you are told.
* Carefully observe the physical characteristics of the robber.
* Be a good witness. Note as much detail about the suspect(s) as possible.
(Age, race, height, facial hair, speech, clothing, odor, etc.)
After the robbery:
* When it is safe, notify the police by calling 911.
* Law Enforcement will ask for the following information: location of robbery, whether anyone is injured, the exact time the robber(s) left and their direction of travel, the kind of weapon used, description of the vehicle, the robber(s), their clothing, appearance or unique features, money or items taken, and other information to assist responding officers.
* Protect the scene of the crime. Do Not Touch Anything! You might destroy evidence.
* Ask all witnesses to stay until law enforcement arrives. Allow no one in except the police or emergency personnel.
* Write down all suspect information immediately and do not discuss the robbery with anyone until questioned by the police.
Become security conscious!
* Don't be afraid to call the police if you see something suspicious.
Keep law enforcement emergency and non-emergency phone numbers handy.
* Maintain Visibility into your place of business
* Never block the view into your business by crowding windows with signs or merchandise.
* Use low display counters and cases to maintain visibility from both inside and outside the business.
* Keep all entrances, exits, and parking areas well lighted
* Secure you cashier operation
* Install barriers high enough to keep unauthorized persons out of the area where cash transactions take place. Place the cash register a safe distance from the door, but not so far back that it is not visible from outside.
* Keep a spare key and phone hidden in the freezer or storeroom.
Install a hold-up alarm system, with points throughout the business. Periodically test the system with the assistance of the alarm company.
* Keep cash on premises to a minimum.
Make frequent cash drops at varied times of the day or week. Use two or more employees to make cash drops or use a courier service.
* Keep your safe locked at all times.
Review robbery procedures and alarm system operations frequently with your employees.
* Keep key holder information up to date with law enforcement and alarm company.
* Use one or more persons to open and/or close the business. There is better safety in numbers. (Source: HPD communications Department)