San Francisco police arrest suspect in serial cab driver robberies 

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  • Courtesy photo

A suspect has been arrested in connection to an armed robbery series targeting San Francisco taxi drivers.

The suspect, who has not been identified, is believed to have committed more than a half-dozen armed robberies of cabbies since July 14.

Police have not yet released details of the arrest, citing an ongoing investigation.

Last week, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency sent an advisory to taxi drivers regarding the arrest.

Taxi drivers citywide were recently warned about the brazen crook. In the majority of cases, the drivers were robbed after dropping him off on quiet, tree-lined Beideman Street in the Western Addition.

In one of the robberies last week, the crook hailed the cab at 18th and Castro streets. After reaching O’Farrell and Beideman streets, he held a knife to the 56-year-old cab driver’s neck and demanded cash. He fled on foot with $120, police said.

The serial crook often hailed cabs in the area of Geary Boulevard and Fillmore Street, near the nightclub Boom Boom Room. He has also been picked up more than once at 18th and Castro streets, cab drivers say.

The suspect may also be responsible for recent robberies around Post and Sutter streets and Baker Street.

In at least six incidents, the drivers were robbed on Beideman Street, Green Cab driver Mark Gruberg told The San Francisco Examiner last week.

The crook typically asks cabbies to take him to Ellis and Scott or Ellis and Divisadero streets. Once in the area, he directs the drivers to drop him off on Beideman, Gruberg said.

Surveillance cameras in cabs captured the serial crook on video, police Lt. Troy Dangerfield has said. The images aren’t very revealing since the suspect tries to avoid the cameras, he said.

A taxi driver released images of the suspect to The San Francisco Examiner.

Gruberg said police and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency need to improve their systems for alerting cab drivers about criminals.

“If drivers were aware that [Beideman Street] was the robbery location, that would be a red flag,” Gruberg said. “It’s unfortunate that we don’t have better communications and systems in place so that these robberies can be stopped before they happen.”

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