Delivery Man Blues

From World Journal

February 8, 2002

With Chinese police officers from the 5th precinct in Chinatown acting as translators, Bronx police from the 50th precinct met with Chinese restaurant owners in the area to discuss the increase in robberies of Chinese delivery staff and how it can be prevented.

Commanding Officer Thomas DiRusso said that Chinese restaurant owners and delivery staff should be more alert, and urged them to cooperate with the police. He noted that the owners and their staff sometimes do not report robbery cases, which leads to more crimes.

DiRusso also said that in the 50th precinct, which stretches from Riverdale to Kingsbridge, there have been approximately 20 robberies of Chinese delivery staff in the past few months. He said that most attackers were Hispanic and African-American teenagers who robbed the delivery staff at knifepoint.

Each of the ten Chinese restaurants within the precinct has been robbed, DiRusso said. And two restaurants on West Kingsbridge Road have reported ten robberies.

DiRusso reminded delivery staff to pay close attention to the attacker¹s face, height, complexion, and clothes. He also told restaurant owners to write down the phone number from each order and to call back people who order food to make sure the phone number is correct.

He also instructed delivery staff not to deliver food to individual apartments, but instead to wait in the lobby or other public area and to park their bikes in places where they are easily seen. He asked the staff to pay close attention to the area where they deliver food and to report anything suspicious to the police before making the delivery.

The officers from the Chinatown precinct encouraged delivery staff to call 911, saying they can simply say "Chinese" several times to alert the operator that they need language assistance. They can also call 212-334-0724 or 212-334-0725, a hotline with Chinese operators from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekends.

Translated from Chinese by Pei Chi Lin

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