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Sunday, 23 August 2009

Woman Robbed by Illegal Taxi Driver in Weybridge

From The Surrey Herald:

A WEYBRIDGE woman was robbed by a taxi driver following a disagreement over the price of the fare.

The driver, a black man aged between 25 and 30, who may have been unlicensed and operating illegally, chased the 23-year-old woman down Oatlands Drive at 2.30am on Sunday before snatching her handbag and taking the contents.

He stole a BlackBerry phone, a digital camera and a small amount of cash from the green crocodile skin shoulder bag, before getting back in the car and driving down St Mary's Road.

Elmbridge Inspector Richard Haycock said: "The point of interest as far as we're concerned at this stage of the investigation is whether the driver was properly licensed or not.

"The incident highlights the issue that residents should use properly licensed taxis instead of illegal minicabs."

Detective Constable Rene Murdoch, who is leading the investigation, said: "I am particularly keen to speak to anyone who saw where the suspect was driving to following the robbery. Even the smallest piece of information could prove vital to this ongoing investigation."

The victim was returning home from a night out in Clapham with a group of girlfriends when she and the taxi driver had the argument about the price of the journey.

Jo Walker, a spokeswoman for the personal safety charity, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, wants to warn residents of the dangers of getting into unlicensed taxis.

She said: "Far too many people after a night out in a bar or a club jump in the first cab they see. It is much safer if you can get a card or book a licensed cab in advance. That way the cab company has a record of who got into the car and who was driving."

At the time of the robbery, the man, who is between 5ft 9ins and 5ft 10ins tall andof slim build with short hair, was wearing a dark blue T-shirt and jeans.

Anyone with any information can contact DC Murdoch at Staines CID on 0845 125 2222, quoting reference EL/09/6760 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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