Small-town taxi drivers on edge after pair of robberies
Published Thursday, January 3, 2013 5:23PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 3, 2013 6:32PM EST
Taxi drivers in smaller southwestern Ontario towns are being extra cautious after a pair of armed robberies in the past two weeks.
A cab driver in Paris was robbed at knifepoint early Tuesday morning after picking up a passenger at a golf course.
“The passengers were in a darker area and they came on board. At that point they had ski masks and everything, and the driver was basically asked to give up his money,” says Lynn Pratt, who owns Grand River Cab along with her husband.
The driver was able to escape without injury, but the incident sounds very similar to one that happened two weeks earlier in Ingersoll.
On Dec. 20, a cab was called to a golf course in that community. That time, the robbers did get away with some cash.
Again a knife was seen in the robbery, and police say descriptions of the suspects in the two incidents sound similar.
Barb Fries is fairly new to the taxi trade, having driven a cab in Paris for about four months. She says she loves the community, but hearing about incidents like the one at the golf course make her a little edge.
“It depends where you’re picking up,” she says.
“If it’s a little bit of an isolated area, sometimes you’re a little hesitant, or at least I am.”
While many have trouble believing crimes like these can happen even in smaller towns, police say people everywhere need to be cautious.
“It does happen and you have to be prepared for it. You can’t take things for granted,” says OPP Const. Mark Foster.
Pratt says safety is always paramount for drivers and passengers.