CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) – Starting this weekend, your Imo’s pizza could be delivered by an undercover officer. The chilling murder of a pizza delivery man in North County on Monday is causing St. Louis County Police to spring into action. This is the second time this year that an Imo’s delivery person has been killed on the job.
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch says his department is taking a new, proactive approach, which includes undercover cops.
Fitch explains, “If you’re receiving a pizza and it’s legitimate, you won’t know the difference. You’ll think it’s the pizza delivery person. However, if you have a more sinister reason for calling for a pizza, that you want to commit a robbery, they’re really in for a big surprise.”
Police also plan to gather intel from local pizzerias to find patterns in these malicious delivery calls. Then, police will share that information with the pizza parlors, and teach delivery people how to protect themselves.
Fitch adds, “They should be allowed to earn their living just like anybody else does, without violence.”
The murders hit close to home for Dan Fishback, an artist who helps run a gallery next to Imo’s in Clayton. He says it’s painful to imagine one of the delivery people he sees every day killed so mercilessly.
“It’s horrible. It really was a shock,” Fishback says, “I often see them, and you know, talk with them a little bit.”
Fishback hopes the undercover plot will make a difference, before any more lives are lost. However, others wonder why police have chosen to publicize an undercover operation.
FOX 2 asked the police chief this question, who compares it to undercover air marshals on flights, or bait cars used to catch car burglars. Another more universal example: cameras at traffic lights. If you know they’re there, you’ll be less likely commit a crime.
Police used forensics to charge 17 year-old Earon Rivers with Monday`s murder. He's being held without bond. Regarding this latest killing, Fitch says, “I will never understand why a 17 year-old would steal pizza from a driver, kill him, go home and eat the pizza and then go to bed. I’ll never make sense of that.”
Police say they plan to extend their undercover operation to other pizza companies in the near future.