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On Dec. 31, the Racine Police Department released the following statement on its social media platforms: “In recent days the Racine Police Department has responded to several armed robberies of delivery drivers for local restaurants.”

The robberies continued into January.

Based on reports from victims, RPD was able to put together a suspect, which it communicated to other departments and agencies.

On Jan. 7, Racine Police investigators were notified by Zion Ill., Police that a suspect was arrested in Zion after committing two similar robberies of delivery drivers in their jurisdiction.

The suspect was identified as Donta Gates, 27, of Racine. According to Racine Police release, Gates admitted committing the robberies in Racine and was arrested. Gates is believed to have acted alone in these robberies.

Racine Police investigators are interested in any additional information that anyone may have about these crimes. Any witnesses, or citizens with information, are urged to call the Racine Police Department Investigations Unit at (262) 635-7756.

Those who wish to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stoppers at 262-636-9330, or text 274637 (CRIMES). Text message should begin with RACS.

Be smart about delivery policies

Racine Police recommend that restaurants and other who make local deliveries follow a few commonsense guidelines to keep their drivers from being victimized.
• Calls from blocked phone lines, or calls from lines with no caller ID, should not eligible for delivery (unless such numbers are from established or otherwise known customers)
• During hours of darkness, restaurants should consider policies that require credit or debit card payment in advance
• Drivers should avoid deliveries to homes that appear vacant or properties that have inadequate exterior lighting
• Restaurants should always verify the legitimacy of orders placed through using a callback system
• Drivers should carry limited amounts of cash and drivers should have access cell phones to call for emergency assistance if needed
• Suspicious circumstances or suspected delivery driver setups should be immediately reported to police via 911

Rex Davenport

Rex Davenport is a reporter, editor and editorial project manager with more than 40 years of experience in newspaper, business magazines and other content channels.