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Austin police chief talks ride share safety

Austin Police say a taxi driver was robbed at knife point.

Posted: Aug 13, 2019 6:22 PM

AUSTIN, Minn- In a world where taxis and rides shares are becoming more of the norm. A scary situation in Austin is now putting both riders and drivers on high alert. Austin Police say a taxi driver was robbed at knife point.

The incident happened around 1 am. Monday at the intersection of 14th avenue and 8th street when the taxi driver was making a drop-off. The man in the car gave the driver a $ 100 for an $8 ride and then demanded to get his change and additional cash back. The man managed to get away with $300. Police Chief David McKichan says they are suspect described as a Hispanic man, stocky around 5’8 or 5’10 with curly black hair. The suspect was last seen wearing a silky blue jumpsuit and is estimated to be in his late twenties or early thirties.

Jeremy Kittleson is a ride share driver. He says everyone has a horror story.

“I remember one time I picked up this guy who was black out drunk and he wouldn’t get out of my car,” Kittleson said.

He says for the most part people behave themselves but you never know who you are letting into you car each time you pick up a ride.

“ I recommend that drivers look into a dash cam that can record both the front and back seat of the vehicle,” McKichan said.

He further explained that both drivers and passenger should share their ride with family and friends on social media.

" I also think letting someone know where you are going what time you are gonna get picked up at is a smart move,” McKichan said. “ A lot of us have cell phones now it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to snap a picture of your driver and send it to a family member,”

If you have any information about the robbery please contact Austin Police at (507) 437-9405

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