Cops turn tables on pizza robbery suspects

UPPER DARBY, Pa. - November 19, 2009

It all started late Wednesday night when the owner of the Verona Pizza Shop felt he received a suspicious call for a delivery.

A Verona pizza delivery man was recently robbed along with a delivery man from another pizza shop nearby.

So the owner called police.

Officers set up a sting operation, with an Upper Darby detective going undercover as the pizza delvery man.

When he stopped to deliiver the pizza at the unit block of Harwood Street, a gunman, identified as Paul Anderson, jumped out of a wooded area and demanded money.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood says the officer then opened fire. "The detective fired one shot," Chitwood said, "struck the individual. The individual dropped the gun. He then tried to flee and he dropped right in the street."

Anderson was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in serious condition.

It turns out he was armed with a pellet gun.

When the detective opened fire, a green minivan parked near the robbery, took off.

Police pursued the minivan that they say was the getaway vehicle.

It stopped near Lansdowne Avenue and Township Line, and a man and a woman jumped out and tried to make a run for it.

Police caught the woman, identified as 20-year-old Emily Vagnoni. Police say she and Anderson once date.

The man is still on the loose, but investigators say they know who he is.

Vagnoni and Anderson have been charged with several armed robberies, and the June theft of nearly $6,000 from a Swiss Farms in nearby Clifton Heights. Police believe Vagnoni, an employee there, gave Paul the safe combination.

As for a motive, police believe they were either after drug money, or needed cash to pay for back child support.

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