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N.S. delivery driver’s car stolen while picking up order

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Tony Dembogaj, owner of Bella Vita Pizzeria in Halifax, was away from work when he received a call informing him his delivery driver’s vehicle was stolen while picking up an order at his shop.

“It was his normal routine, he drove up to the store he, jumped out of the car to grab his order to go out on delivery and as he’s grabbed another order, they turn around and the car’s driving away,” said Dembogaj.

He was away from the shop at the time when it happened. He said it is common to leave the car running when picking up an order.

“The order is always ready for pick up so it’s really quick. No point to shut the car off and turn it back on,” he said.

The pizza shop’s debit machine and the driver’s belongings, including his phone and wallet, were all left in the vehicle.

“Through the course of the investigation, we were able to find the suspects had used the delivery driver’s cards that had been left in the vehicle and we were able to track them through that,” said Halifax Regional Police’s public information officer John McLeod.

The suspects used the delivery driver’s bank cards at a convenience store on Chain Lake Drive, which is where officers found a man and woman with the stolen vehicle outside the store. The two were arrested for a number of charges, including theft, fraud under $5000 and possession of stolen property.

Bella Vita Pizzeria in Halifax is pictured. (Hafsa Arif/CTV Atlantic)Similar crimes have been reported at higher rates in other provinces, like Ontario, where delivery drivers’ cars are stolen.

McLeod said while they do receive those kinds of calls, it is not often.

“Well, certainly at this point we have seen incidents of this nature happen over the years but there is no trend that we have identified in the city,” he said.

Officers are advising people to always lock their car doors no matter how long they are away from it.

“If they are stopping their vehicle and they’re leaving it, both for safety reasons and the possibility that it could be stolen, that they would turn the vehicle off, make it safe, and take their keys and any property,” said McLeod.

The car and most of the driver’s belongings have been returned; however, the shop’s debit machine remains missing.

Dembogaj said replacing it costs $1,000, which is a significant loss.

“It’s actually very hard, especially nowadays [for] businesses as everyone knows [and] the economy is not the greatest especially for small businesses,” he said.

Dembogaj has put up a $100 reward for anyone who finds the debit machine. 

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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