CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) — After two recent holdups in which Imo’s Pizza deliverymen were shot and killed in north county, Police Chief Tim Fitch is putting undercover cops on special assignment delivering pizzas.
“The warning is if you try to hurt our officers, it won’t be a good outcome for you,” Fitch said.
Starting this weekend, the undercover cops will start delivering for Imo’s in “high risk” neighborhoods with plans in the works to do the same for other pizza companies.
“It’s sort of like what you see in the airline industry where some pilots are armed,” Fitch said, “We know that some flights have federal air marshals on board , but you don’t know which ones.”
Fitch says in both of the recent killings there was nothing to suggest the pizza deliverymen fought back.
“It’s senseless violence. There’s no reason for it,” Fitch said, “The best that we can tell in both of these homicides involving these delivery people there was no resistance, and for no apparent reason they decided to execute those two drivers.”
Detectives are reviewing holdup reports to identify likely areas for pizza robberies and looking for common traits for set-up orders — whether it was called in on a cell phone, first-time callers, or certain times of the day.
Imo’s delivery driver Brian W. Johnson, 39, who worked at the Imo’s on Chambers and Halls Ferry was found shot to death in his car in the 1600 block of Mowbry Lane in Dellwood Monday night. Police say three pizzas and a cellphone were stolen from Johnson.
A suspect, 17-year old Earon A. Rivers, of the 10,000 block of Bon Oak Drive is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in Johnson’s death.
In May, Imo’s delivery drive Daniil Maksimenko, 22, of Ballwin was shot to death making a delivery in the Hillsdale, about five miles from the scene of Monday’s killing.