Two Officers Honored For Investigation Into Robbery of Pizza Delivery Employees

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Two Officers Honored For Investigation Into Robbery of Pizza Delivery Employees

Posted: 02/26/2010
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen named Officer Justin Ruth and Officer Jeff Damewood the January Officers of the Month for the Knoxville Police Department. Officer Ruth has been with KPD since December 2002 while Officer Damewood has been with the department since January 1997. 
 
Chief Owen said that on January 13, 2010, Officer Ruth and Officer Damewood responded to a robbery of a delivery person at an apartment complex on Flennwood Way. The victim indicated he had received an order to deliver three pizzas to an apartment in the Flennwood Way complex. When the victim arrived he knocked on the door of the apartment several times in an attempt to deliver the pizzas. After getting no response, the victim returned to his vehicle.

Chief Owen said, "Just prior to reaching his car, a suspect armed with a handgun and wearing all black clothing approached the delivery person and demanded his money and the pizzas and then demanded the victim leave the area." 

While responding to the robbery call Officer Ruth recalled a similar robbery which had occurred three days earlier at the same apartment complex. Officer Damewood obtained information from the first robbery that indicated the suspect in that incident matched the description of the current robbery suspect. Officer Ruth had also recently completed a domestic violence report for a female in an apartment in the complex and that the suspect information from that incident was very similar to the description of the robbery suspect.

Chief Owen said, "Using knowledge of their beat along with crime data compiled by patrol activities, the officers were able to identify the suspect. Evidence gathered by Officers Ruth and Damewood is currently being utilized in the ongoing investigation as investigators work to identify other incidents that may be linked to this suspect."

Mayor Haslam said, "We commend Officers Ruth and Damewood on an outstanding job in identifying this suspect. Their dedication to the citizens on their beat will no doubt result in additional cases being solved."