Akron, Ohio police have arrested a suspect in a series of armed robberies in the city in January of this year, and according to authorities, he’s just 13-year old.
Police said a 13-year-old male was identified as a suspect in two robberies that occurred on Jan. 27. In both robberies, police said delivery drivers were robbed at gunpoint after delivering to vacant homes.
Drivers told police they were called to addresses in the 1100 block of 4th Avenue in East Akron. In each robbery, drivers told police that multiple males attempted to rob them.
The 13-year old and his friends were only successful in one of the two robberies back on January 27th. According to police, the second driver that was targeted was able to defend himself with his legally carried firearm.
A Papa John’s worker reported that he was trying to deliver a pizza to a house around 7 p.m. Monday in the 1100 block of 4th Avenue, when he realized the house was vacant.
The 26-year-old employee said three males, who appeared to be teens, came from behind the house and one of them reached for his waistband.
The driver then drew his weapon. No shots were fired and the would-be thieves disappeared into the night.
In a call to 911, the driver said, “The moment they started to come around the house, I pulled a firearm and they ran. I had no choice.”
While the 13-year old who was arrested this week has been charged in two robberies, Akron delivery drivers had to deal with a rash of armed robberies that began in December of last year and continued through late January, including a span in early December when there were at least four such robberies in one week.
About 11:40 p.m. on Sunday, a 55-year-old Domino’s driver said he had just delivered an order on the 300 block Power Street near the University of Akron when he was approached by two men, one armed with a gun, according to a police report.
The suspects asked for change for a $10 bill and the victim said he didn’t have change and began to walk back to his vehicle, police said. One of the suspects grabbed the delivery driver from behind and demanded he empty his pockets, while the other suspect held him at gunpoint. The robbers ran from the scene with an unknown amount of money, police said.
About an hour later, officers responded just after 12:30 a.m. Monday to another robbery involving a pizza delivery driver on the 800 block of Huber Street in East Akron, according to a police report.
The 37-year-old Domino’s driver said three people wearing dark clothing approached him and robbed him at gunpoint, escaping with an unknown amount of cash, police said.
Another incident in early December involved at least four teens who targeted a driver for Papa Johns.
The 21-year-old driver for Papa John’s tells police he was trying to deliver a pizza on the 400 block of Zahn Drive, just south of Sand Run Metro Park, at about 1 p.m. when he was approached by four young males. Police say the suspects were between the ages of 10 and 15 years old and that two were armed with firearms.
The suspects demanded money from the driver. When he said he had no cash, one of the youths hit the driver in the head with his weapon. The youths then took three pizzas and some Sierra Mist soda before running north on Cromwell Drive.
There’s been no word from Akron police about whether the 13-year old who’s been arrested for the two robberies in January may be connected to any of the other robberies of delivery drivers, but clearly there are still several individuals who took part in the holdups who haven’t been arrested or charged yet. While police continue their investigation, I wouldn’t be surprised if other drivers have armed themselves for their protection. It’s easier to carry a firearm than it is to have a cop ride shotgun while you deliver pizzas, after all, and drivers in Akron are right to be concerned about their personal safety.