Pizza robber sentenced to prison

Jan. 09, 2013 @ 06:43 PM

A man who had a habit of robbing pizza delivery men was taken down after he robbed a Chinese food deliveryman and hid the evidence under his bed.

Courtland Bradford of Durham, who was 16 at the time of the robberies in the fall of 2011, pleaded guilty to five counts of armed robbery Tuesday in Durham County Criminal Superior Court.

Bradford also pleaded guilty to one count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill for shooting at one of the victims as he sped away from Bradford.

On Oct. 8, 2011, a man who was delivering Chinese food reported two men approached him. While one held him at gunpoint, the other stole the Chinese food, cash and the GPS from his car.

Durham police obtained the phone number of the person who called in the order, and went to that person’s house on Sudbury Road in northeast Durham. The woman there identified Bradford as the one who made the call, said Assistant District Attorney Roger Echols.

About that time, Bradford walked out of a room, and he matched the description of the man who robbed the deliveryman. When police dialed the phone number of the person who had called the restaurant, the phone that Bradford had rang, Echols said.

Upon searching his room, police found Chinese food and a handgun under his bed.

They also saw pizza boxes in the garbage and noticed they matched the pizza brands of four other deliverymen who had been robbed in that area recently. They included Randy’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and Domino’s.

In each case, the deliverymen told police that as they attempted to deliver pizzas at residences, two or three men came out of the darkness and robbed them at gunpoint of pizza and any cash they had.

In one incident, a deliveryman had two large pizzas in his hand when he heard someone say, “Get down on the ground,” Echols said.

He saw a man holding a handgun. After the men stole the pizza and cigarettes from his car, he jumped in the car and tried to escape. He told police he thought he may have hit one of the men with his car and as he drove away. Someone fired bullets at him, he said, hitting his car and a car window.

Under a plea agreement, Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson sentenced Bradford to two consecutive active sentences of 51 to 72 months in prison for a total sentence of approximately eight and one half years to 12 years in prison.

Another man charged in the robberies, Aaron Parker, is scheduled to appear in court Feb.18.