A Domino's pizza delivery woman was robbed in the Mount Vernon area Wednesday night by a man fitting the description of a bandit who had held up a number of delivery people in Fairfax County earlier this year.
The delivery woman took a pizza to a house in the 3300 block of Wessynton Way about 9 p.m., police said, but occupants of the house said they had not ordered a pizza.
As the woman returned to her delivery car, police said, she was approached by a man wearing a ski mask and carrying a handgun. He grabbed the pizza, flung it on the car, demanded money, and fled on foot, police said.
Wednesday night's robbery was the 50th in Fairfax County this year, the first since the first week of March. From Feb. 1 through the first week in March, there was an average of four robberies a week of pizza delivery people in the county.
Domino's and other area pizza delivery operations have sharply restricted the amount of money delivery people are permitted to carry and have taken other precautions to discourage robberies.
Domino's employes deliver only one pizza at a time and as a result carry very little cash. Other operations, including Armand's Pizzeria and the Pizza Transit Authority in the District, have also set limits on the cash their employes can carry. Delivery people are instructed to hand over whatever a bandit might ask for, including the pizza, which thieves have taken in about half the Fairfax cases.
"Our policy is, give 'em anything they want," said Lewis Newmyer, owner of Armand's.
Earlier this year, the Baltimore area experienced a wave of attacks, mostly by juveniles, on pizza deliverers.