By Bob Uphues
Riverside police seek the help of the public in helping identify two people who allegedly robbed a food delivery driver of his vehicle while he was making a delivery in the 200 block of East Quincy Street on Aug. 1 at about 6:50 p.m.
The victim, a 20-year-old Berwyn man who was making an Uber Eats delivery for Panera Bread, told police that he was getting out of his vehicle on the apron of a driveway when a man approached from behind, put a hard object in his back and demanded the victim's wallet, cellphone and car.
According to police, the offender got in the victim's vehicle – a silver Honda sedan with a Panera sign on the top – and was last seen heading east toward Harlem Avenue followed by a black Ford SUV whose driver acted as a lookout.
No one was physically injured, and the victim told police he didn't actually see a weapon. The offender was described as a black male in his late teens or early twenties with a skinny build, about 5-foot-8 and wearing a black knit hat, blue jeans, a red shirt, a black jacket and a surgical mask.
Police do not have a description of the Ford SUV driver, as he never exited that vehicle. They did' however, recover a surgical mask they believe may been worn by one of the offenders.
The victim's customer did not witness the robbery, said police, because he had opted for touchless delivery, where the food is left on the doorstep.
Police suspect the victim may have been targeted because he was clearly making food deliveries and likely had cash either on him or in his vehicle. Both public and private surveillance cameras showed the black SUV following the delivery vehicle onto East Quincy Street.
The victim's stolen vehicle had not been recovered as of Aug. 3, and police are trying to locate the Ford SUV, whose license plates registered to a Chicago owner. Police were not immediately certain whether the SUV was also stolen.
Detectives also investigated whether the East Quincy Street carjacking incident was related to a pair of armed robberies that took place in Oak Park 20 to 30 minutes prior to Riverside broadcasting their incident to area police departments. However, according to Police Chief Thomas Weitzel, they were not.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Riverside Police Department at 708-447-2127 or email Detective James Lazansky at firstname.lastname@example.org.