San Francisco hacks were hailed by armed hoodlums in two separate knifepoint robberies Wednesday, police said.
The hack heists occurred in the Western Addition and Tenderloin neighborhoods, with one resulting from an argument over the fare, police said.
At around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, a 26-year-old cabbie’s life was threatened after he dropped off two passengers at Hyde and Sutter streets. The passengers, said to be in their 20s, disputed the fare. One of the passengers whipped out a knife and, on top of not paying for the ride, robbed the cabbie’s cash, police said. They fled and have yet to be found.
Around midnight, another hack fell prey to a heist. The 54-year-old driver picked up a fare at O’Farrell and Beideman streets, police said. The crook, described as a 40-year-old man, put a knife to the cabbie’s neck and demanded cash. The cabbie complied, the crook fled and there has been no arrest, police said.
The taxi drivers were not injured, police said.
Attacks on drivers in recent months have reignited the debate on whether cameras installed in cabs are making the dangerous job safer. Some drivers have called for real-time reporting of the robberies — such as immediate police alerts sent to dispatchers — so that cabbies citywide can be warned about the roving thieves.
"Unfortunately people know that [taxi drivers] carry cash, and people know they can’t refuse a fare," spokesman police Officer Albie Esparza said Thursday. "The important part here is that no one was injured."