A Twin Cities cab driver was robbed at gunpoint Friday morning – and while it doesn't happen often, it's a scary situation.
Noah Rouen with Blue & White Taxi told GoMN one of their seasoned drivers was responding to a pick-up request around 5:30 a.m. Friday.
When he arrived, the driver initially couldn't find the people and figured it was either a no-show or bad address.
Eventually he found the people. They got in the car, rode for a bit and pulled out a gun. The suspects stole the drivers wallet and a tablet used to take credit card payments, then ran off.
"Maybe once a year," Rouen said when asked how often armed robberies happen. "Not even once a year."
And that's coming from the largest taxi service provider in the Twin Cities.
Thankfully, no one was injured. Rouen said the taxi driver went into work later Friday to pick up a new tablet so he could get back out there.
A camera inside the cab caught them on video. The robbery was reported to Minneapolis police, who said they're working to identify the people. Anyone who knows them is asked to contact the police department.
Robberies and taxis
Rouen told GoMN that while taxi robberies with guns are pretty rare, other smaller robberies and thefts do happen.
"It's a dangerous job," Rouen said. "Anytime you let a stranger in the vehicle."
He noted that Blue & White Taxi drivers all go through safety training, and the driver in this case followed protocol.
There are also cameras in all of the company's taxis. Blue & White Taxi started putting recording devices in the car in 2015 following another armed robbery, according to FOX 9.
According to a 2010 report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, taxi drivers have pretty dangerous jobs. They are more than 20 times more likely to be murdered on the job than the average worker.
Syracuse.com reported in 2015 that taxi drivers faced the highest on-the-job murder rate in the country.