“robberies directed at taxi drivers…”
October 19, 2012—Police confirm that the armed robberies directed at taxi drivers in Melbourne’s north over the last week were likely perpetrated by the same two men. On two separate occasions, the men, in their 20s and wearing hooded tops, hailed the taxis under the guise of being taxi passengers. They then used a knife to intimidate the drivers into surrendering their valuables upon reaching their supposed destination.
“Mr Singh, who had been working as a taxi driver for about six weeks…”
In the first incident on a Melbourne taxi cab which occurred at around 2am on Sunday morning in Coburg North, taxi driver Gurbhej Singh, 23, stopped to pick up two male taxi passengers at the intersection of Elizabeth and Livingstone Streets. After driving a short distance, one of the men signaled the taxi driver to stop, while the other threatened the driver with a knife and made away with the driver’s money and credit cards.
“taxi drivers are regularly put in defenceless situations…”
Mr Singh, who had been working as a taxi driver for about six weeks at the time, was left feeling traumatised by the experience. “I couldn’t sleep for two nights after that incident and I still can’t sleep because that was really terrifying, I saw my death so closely,” Mr Singh said, adding that taxi drivers are regularly put in defenseless situations in the course of earning a living. “At night time, we always have the fear [of being attacked],” he elaborated.
A taxi cab driver in Thomastown became the second known victim of the armed robbers when they struck again two days later in the wee hours of the morning on Winamurra Street. They stole the driver’s wallet and ran east towards a waiting vehicle on Edgars Road. Police say footage from CCTV showed the knife used to be rather large.
“The fact that the taxis only travelled a short distance before the crime was being committed showed a level of intent and planning, which is a concern for police,” said Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Williams. He described the crimes as “violent and organised attacks”, and has pledged to use every resource available to further investigations.
Anyone with any information can please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.