DENVER, Pa. (CBSNewYork) — A woman was arrested for allegedly skipping out of a $600 fare after police said she took a taxi from New York City to her home in Pennsylvania.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, Kelli Boyer, 44, has been charged with theft of services for a ride that took nearly three hours.
Police said Boyer took a cab to her Denver, Pennsylvania home. When they arrived around 1 a.m. Sunday, she told the driver she would be back in a few minutes to pay the fare.
The driver waited for 15 minutes, but when Boyer didn’t return, he called police, authorities said.
Officers made several attempts to contact her, but police said she refused to answer the door or her phone. Authorities said the cab driver was later able to identify Boyer from a photo.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, Boyer offered an apology by phone, but no real explanation.
“I’m very sorry. I never ever meant to not pay him. As soon as possible I will pay him. I’m trying to figure it out now,” she said.
New York City cabbies say stiffed fares go with the territory.
“People, they open the door and they run away,” Yousself Badreldeen said.
They said only occasionally is it as bad as Boyer’s alleged $600.30 fare evasion. Police say she made cabbie Atiqur Rahman drive 140 miles.
“I was waiting ten minutes. I noticed her door was open. Then I was honking. She wouldn’t come out. I called 911,” he said.
TLC rules allow for cabbies to collect out of town fare as soon as the taxi is past the city limits. Cabbies are told to avoid being taken for a ride, they should demand money up front.
“Cabdrivers, if they’re going to go out-of-state they should ask the passenger for a credit card, or cash in advance there’s nothing wrong with that,” said Fernando Mateo, founder of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers.
Mateo said the crime is under reported.
“Totally under reported. We have hundreds of these crimes every single day in New York City. Drivers don’t take the time to report it because it’s a waste of time. They can make money on the road,” he said.
Rare are the fare beaters who lead cops right to their homes. Police and union reps said in Boyer’s case there is a chance the cabbie might recover his money.
Cab drivers are told they are never allowed to lock a passenger in the car.