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Published: Saturday, 1/30/2010

Robbers shoot pizza driver in North Toledo; police view act as unusual

A 59-year-old pizza delivery driver was robbed and shot in the leg in a North Toledo neighborhood - a violent act that police consider unusual.

Though pizza delivery drivers are a common target for thieves, it is unusual that the act becomes violent, Toledo police Sgt. Phil Toney said.

"[There are] very few that the driver actually gets hurt," Sergeant Toney said.

Ronnie Dunklin, a driver for Marco's Pizza at 3423 Lagrange, was assaulted by two suspects who threatened him with a gun and robbed him of cash in the 900 block of Homer just before 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Mr. Dunklin reported that one of the suspects struck him in the head with a pistol, but he didn't realize at that time he also had been shot in the leg.

After he drove back to the store to report the crime, emergency crews discovered his additional injury.

Mr. Dunklin was treated at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.

Police investigate reports of pizza delivery drivers being robbed "almost every week," Sergeant Toney said.

"They are an easy target," Sergeant Toney said. "You know they got money. You know they got food."

At least four pizza delivery drivers were already robbed this month.

In May, a pizza delivery driver for Cottage Inn Pizza in South Toledo was beaten and robbed. John Berry was robbed of $25 in cash and two pizzas after being assaulted by two men who answered an apartment door at 3950 Airport Hwy. about 2:40 a.m. May 3.

Police recommend that delivery drivers protect themselves by avoiding homes without lights on, verifying that phone numbers match an address whenever possible, and surrendering cash when threatened by a would-be thief.

"Just give up the pizza. Give up the money. None of it's worth getting hurt," Sergeant Toney said.

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