How often have you sat down in front of your TV with a box of steaming pizza you are craving to eat while watching another episode of CSI Miami? Watching Horatio and his team solve intricate murders while chewing on another slice is a common scenario that one can easily imagine. But what if the main character of the story is actually a large peperoni pizza with extra cheese? That’s right, the world has seen many things of which an interesting one are definitely police operations that involved pizza. Let’s find out about the most interesting cases where pizza saved the day. Below we have gathered a list of eight funny and horror stories about curious pizza police operations across the world.
911 what’s your emergency?
In 2019 on November 13, dispatcher Tim Teneyck received an unusual call that he would never forget. Tiffany Urban, a woman from Ohio, found a clever way to save her 56-year old mother from domestic violence while making sure that her abuser would be caught red-handed. Tiffany called 911 and pretended to order pizza with the hopes that the dispatcher on the other end will quickly understand what this call was actually about. In an interview for Inside Edition, Teneyck said that it took him just a moment to realize that the woman was actually speaking in code. While passing the signal to the officers, Teneyck advised them to keep their sirens off while approaching the address so that the abuser does not get suspicious. Once they arrived, they were able to arrest the man for domestic violence after Tiffany’s mother confirmed she had indeed been attacked earlier that evening by him. The case quickly spread around social media with people sharing the story on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Although it is unknown where Tiffany got the idea from, a couple of similar incidents took place in 2014 and 2015 when two different women used the same clever method to save themselves. In the first case the pizza delivery call saved a woman from being raped, whereas the second incident involved a message for help sent through a pizza delivery mobile app from a woman who was held hostage with her children. It seems like pizza could save the day after all.
Cops like pizza, too
Cops are often associated with their exquisite taste in doughnuts. Yet, the sweet treat is not the only food that some police officers are so much craving for that they are even prone to breaking the very laws they are supposed to protect. Especially in a country like Germany, known for its ‘rule-following’ community where everyone tries to do things the right way.
Again in November 2019, however this time in Berlin, a hot and steamy pizza was the reason why a police officer was fined. After stopping his patrol car incorrectly partly on the sidewalk and thus restricting disabled people’s access to it, the police officer was caught by an observer who took a picture and posted it on Twitter. The man took on to criticize the officer for his actions as according to him, the representatives of the law are rather to serve as role models than doing such things out of pizza hunger. After a conversation sparked on social media with some people encouraging the observer, others criticized him for denouncing the policeman. In another tweet, the Berlin police replied by confirming that the officer was in fact purchasing a pizza for himself and not in the middle of a police operation.
Vegan on the run
Sarma Melngailis was one of New York’s most famous vegan chefs that used to welcome all kinds of celebrities in her Manhattan hotspot, Pure Food and Wine. However, aside from her love for healthy living, Melngailis and her husband Anthony Strangis had the rather expensive habit of recklessly spending nearly $1 million of her investors’ money for gambling, overseas vacations and expensive jewelry. After Sarma’s disappearance in May 2015, 84 of her employees were also left without salaries while Melngailis and Strangis were living their lives to the fullest.
Almost every saga, however, must come to an end eventually. In this case it was a non-vegan Domino’s pizza that turned the vegan fugitive to the local authorities. While on the run in 2016, the duo stopped at a hotel in Sevierville, Tennessee and decided to order a cheesy, non-vegan Domino’s pizza. Despite the fact that the pizza had meat, her now estranged husband made the rather “cheesy” mistake and used his real name, which was enough for the cops to finally cuff them. Melngailis pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three and a half months in jail and a $1.5 million pay back.
Can free pizza be a crime?
Free pizza delivered to your address without you even ordering it. How cool is that?! Well not so much for Guido Grolle, a lawyer in Dortmund, Germany, who has received over 100 pizzas without placing a single order. Was it a computer mistake, bullying or just some kind of new way for the Italian mafia to scare him?
In 2018, the Dortmund police were investigating the curious case of Mr. Grolle who got up to 20 pizzas per day for nearly two and a half weeks. Although the lawyer truly likes pizza, he thought it was kind of creepy to receive so much food that he had not even ordered himself. Receiving tons of emails and pre-order calls notifying about the upcoming delivers felt truly annoying, especially when you are trying to work or do things at home. This is why Grolle decided to take actions and filed a complaint with the local police, passing all of the evidence he had. Things got even more suspicious when the lawyer started also receiving Greek cuisine, sushi and currywurst orders, again none placed by him. Is free food really a crime?
The Savopolous murder
The Savopolous murder was just like those of the criminal novels that some people love to read. A wealthy family killed in a gruesome way with their ten-year old boy allegedly tortured until he persuaded his family to give the perpetrators $40,000 in cash. A pizza ordered that night would turn out to be a key evidence in the solving of this horrendous quadruple homicide.
Although there are many questions as to what really happened that night, the main story that circulated around in the media was that the family along with their housekeeper were attacked in their home by two males on the 8th of January 2015. After the family being beaten to death with the little boy stabbed, the perpetrators set their house on fire while escaping with the abovementioned sum in cash and stealing the family’s blue Porsche. It was hard for the police to convict the suspects as there was not a lot of evidence and one of them had a strong alibi. Yet, the forensic medics found that there was a DNA sample taken from the crust of the Domino’s pizza that matched with the one of Daron Dylon Wint who was identified by the police as the prime suspect. He was later on arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
The Grim Sleeper investigation
How many times have you been told by your mother to always finish your meal? Now how many times did you think this is just another one of your mom’s annoying remarks. That’s right folks, make sure to listen to what your mother has to tell you so that you do not end up in prison like Loonie Franklin did.
In 2010 a serial killer was finally caught after he had been murdering vulnerable women for more than two decades, beginning in the 1980s. The LA police was on the tracks of a man who had allegedly killed at least ten women, seven of which between 1985 and 1988 and the rest from 2002 to 2007. The suspect is better known by the nickname “Grim Sleeper” that the authorities gave him after he had taken a 14-year break from his crimes. At the time this investigation became a landmark case because the police used a rare method of familial DNA that was only used in California and Colorado. To catch the serial killer, detectives set up a sting operation at an L.A. restaurant where Franklin’s son, Christopher, attended a birthday party where he was eating pizza. An officer acting as a bus boy took the crust that Christopher left. The saliva that was left on that tiny piece of leftover was enough for the police to extract a DNA sample that matched a previous one taken from a crime scene. Nearly two hours later, the Grim Sleeper was finally arrested in his home in South L.A. where police officers found nearly 1,000 inappropriate photos that Franklin kept as trophies of women and teenage girls some of which were unconscious, bleeding or even presumably dead. Six years later, on June 6th 2016, Loonie Franklin was sentenced with a death penalty that he still awaits.
Run piggy, run!
Officer Dan Smith from the Xenia Police Department in Ohio went on a little adventure in March last year when he was chasing Wilbur on East Church Street. The runaway pig, that’s right Wilbur is actually a little piggy, escaped from his home but was soon to be reunited with its family. After chasing Wilbur for a while, Officer Smith decided to lure the swine with some leftover pizza to the back of his car. With a little bit of muscle the police officer was able to take Wilbur in the back of the cruiser and safely reunited him with his loving family. Xenia Police went on Facebook to share a funny video of the police operation in action and said that it would be surely used at Officer Smith’s retirement party one day.
Forgotten pizza alert
There is a reason why women are better cooks than men. In 2019 police officers in the Swabian district of Donau-Ries conducted a rescue operation after receiving a call on a Friday night. A neighbor heard the sound of the beeping smoke detector in the apartment next door and decided to call 911. Once the police arrived, they tried to enter but no one opened the door of the apartment where the sound was coming from. Fortunately, they managed to get in with a second key just to find out that a young man who was making some pizza for dinner fell asleep on the couch. He must have been really tired not to hear the awful sound of the smoke detector or the strong smoke coming out of the oven. He would know better to order it instead next time he feels hungry.