NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Drivers of for-hire vehicles in the city are being warned about an armed man is targeting them.
There have been at least seven robberies, all of them in Brooklyn, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported Sunday.
He wears a mask and he has a gun. Police say all the livery cab drivers were told by the suspect to put their hands up and then were instructed to hand over all of their cash.
The armed robbery of $180 from a driver named Luis happened on Monday night on Linwood street in East New York. He said waiting for police so he could report the crime cost him time and money, six long hours’ worth.
He said he knows other drivers who wouldn’t bother.
“They don’t do the report because they’re afraid they waste time,” Luis said.
When asked if he thinks the suspect has robbed more than seven livery cabs, Luis said, “Of course that’s what I think.”
Mateo said he is grateful for no drivers were injured in the robberies, adding that despite the suspect wearing a mask, his tattoos should easily give him away.
When a driver named Jesus was robbed on Bristol Street in Brownsville early Wednesday morning he said he was unaware of the recent incidents, including in Flatlands and near Brighton Beach.
“I was angry because after four guys get robbed … It’s unbelievable,” Jesus said.
“Crime is going through the roof and their lives are in danger,” Mateo added.
Mateo said the NYPD should quickly notify drivers the second it uncovers this kind of crime pattern.
“To blast out an AMBER-type alert to the industry, letting them know this guy’s out there,” Mateo said.
The driver Luis said with an armed predator on the loose he’s avoiding pickups in Brooklyn.
“His wife is certainly urging him to reconsider another job,” Mateo said.
Likewise, Jesus said his family wants him out of a profession where a seemingly simple fare can quickly turn to fear and loss.
The Federation of Taxi Drivers is offering a $3,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
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