Saturday, September 12, 2009

Beware! That cabbie could be a robber

Beware! That cabbie could be a robber

Police top brass warn public against accepting cab rides at night

K Ramanujam and Santosh Kumar RB. Bangalore



If somebody offers to drop you to your destination in a cab at night, do not fall for it. This is the advice that the city police top brass have to offer to hitchhikers, who are increasingly falling prey to robberies committed by cab drivers.
"But if, by chance, you do hitch a ride in a cab, make sure you note down the vehicle's licence plate number and contact details. This will make it easier for the police to trace offenders if a crime occurs," Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar said.
This warning comes in the wake of a 24-year-old autorickshaw driver getting arrested by the Upparpet police on Sunday for allegedly stealing property worth Rs2 lakh from a Filipino couple.
Police identified the suspect as Sajjad Ahmed (24), a resident of Padarayanapura. He had allegedly relieved the victims, Filipino citizen Makeme Mariah Ido and her husband Ruel B Laranj, at the Kempe Gowda bus terminal on
August 27.
The two had reached Bangalore from Hyderabad around 6 that morning. They piled up their luggage in an autorickshaw and told the driver concerned to deliver it to a lodge at Balepet. The couple then boarded another autorickshaw.
However, the luggage autorickshaw never reached the lodge. After waiting for a while, the couple realised that they had been conned. Ido and her husband then filed a complaint with the Upparpet police.
"Fortunately, Ido had noted the licence plate number of the auto. Ahmed was finally held in Koramangala. Valuables worth Rs2 lakh were recovered from him," an officer said.
As the frequency of buses is quite low at night, people opt for cabs that offer to drop them at their destinations for a lower fare. In recent times, there has been a sharp increase in instances of cab and autorickshaw drivers robbing their passengers, a police officer said.

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