GARDAÍ HAVE WARNED that taxi apps are being used to “lure” drivers to robberies.
A number of drivers have been robbed and/or assaulted in the Dublin 15 area in recent weeks.
On New Year’s Eve, a driver had his phone stolen after he was robbed by two teenagers who gardaí said were, more than likely, carrying an imitation firearm.
Many drivers are now avoiding picking up and dropping off in certain parts of the Ongar, Clonee and Tyrrelstown areas for fear they will be targeted.
A report on behalf of taxi drivers has been made to the National Transport Authority (NTA). It is understood that this was done as drivers fear that customers will make complaints about their refusal to travel to certain areas.
A garda alert which has been sent to a number of drivers reads: “Increase in assaults and thefts of cash/phones from taxi drivers in Dublin 15 area. Phone apps used to lure drivers to pick up or group of youths engage taxi from a pick up to destination, on arrival theft/assault occurs.”
Gardaí are urging drivers to do the following to protect themselves:
- Drivers advised to be cautious on collection/drop off locations.
- Pickups/drop offs in well-lit busy thoroughfares.
- Utilise dash-cams for internal/external areas of vehicle.
- Restrict opportunity for reach and grab of phone/cash.
- Activate find my phone app, record IMEI number of phone (*#o6#).
- Report all incidents and any information/suspicious activity.
Gardaí are following a definite line of inquiry following the incident on New Year’s Eve. A photograph claiming to show a number of young men involved in the incident has been shared by a number of taxi drivers on different online fora.
The two suspects in the latest attack in Clonee are described as being black teenagers. Anyone with any information is being urged to contact Blanchardstown garda station on 01 6667000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111, or any garda station.