Monday, April 18, 2011

Two taxicab robberies raise concerns about attacks against drivers

Taxi drivers were twice robbed by passengers in San Francisco since Sunday, stoking fears that crimes against cabbies are on the rise.

A 64-year-old cabbie reported to police that he was violently robbed while dropping off a crooked passenger at Missouri and 23rd streets just past midnight Monday.

Around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, three passengers also robbed a 54-year-old driver at gunpoint at Cashmere Street and Hudson Avenue in the Bayview, police said.

In Monday’s incident, the suspect, described as a man in his early 40s, grabbed the driver by the throat and demanded cash after the cab reached its destination, police said.

The suspect not only fled with the money, but the security camera as well. Taxi drivers say security cameras have played a large part in why crimes against taxi drivers have gone done in recent years.

In Sunday’s robbery, three men in their early 20s patted down the driver in the hunt for loot. Again, they robbed the driver after they had reached their destination. One of the crooks brandished a silver revolver with white grips. After the driver handed over cash, he was patted down. The suspects made off with cash, a cellphone and a gear bag.

There have been four robberies on cab drivers in just over one month in San Francisco. On April 17, a 39-year-old driver was robbed at gunpoint in the area of Scott Street and Geary Boulevard.

Only days earlier, a cabbie was robbed at gunpoint after picking up two men who hailed his cab in the Bayview district, according to police.

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