Local delivery drivers taking extra precaution after string of armed robberies

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PEORIA, Ill. — Peoria Police are warning delivery and cab drivers to stay alert and let police know if they see anything suspicious.

Thursday night, a Peoria delivery driver foiled an attempted robbery.

Peoria Police say there’s been an uptick in these crimes over the last month.

Locally owned Order2Eat works with more than 80 restaurants across central Illinois.

Co-Owner Rich Edwards Jr. says he and his drivers take extra precaution when delivering.

“You look out for your surroundings. Before I get out of my car, I make sure the light’s on. If the light’s not on at the customers’ house, I ask them to please turn it on,” Edwards Jr. said.

“We like to pull up as close as we can to the house, whether it’s in the driveway or in front of the house,” Edwards Jr. added.

Police say drivers are in the most danger when it’s dark out.

That’s why delivery driver Ryan Hession says Order2Eat isn’t open very late.

“Our service is open 4:30-9:00 on weekdays and 4:30-9:30 on weekends,” Hession said.

Edwards Jr. says if a driver doesn’t feel safe approaching a home, they have every right to leave and deny service.

“If we don’t feel comfortable, there are sometimes we won’t do the delivery. If we’re in a situation where maybe somebody says, ‘Hey, you gotta go down 2 flights of steps and then you gotta go through this door.’ There’s certain things we look for as a driver and we know what we can do,” Edwards Jr. said.

Edwards Jr. says with winter around the corner, customers can help keep drivers safe.

“Winter’s coming up, it is a lot easier for us as a driver if people keep their walks cleared off. Because it gets us out of our car that much quicker and to your house,” Edwards Jr. said.

Police say if delivery drivers feel unsafe while delivering services. Don’t stop your vehicle, but instead keep going and let the police know something suspicious is happening.

Order2Eats covers Washington, East Peoria, Peoria, Pekin, South Pekin, Marquette Heights, Dunlap, Peoria Heights, Creve Couer, and Edwards.

They are also in Springfield and the Quad Cities.

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