Uber crime is definitely not something that you want to think of when getting an Uber. In this article we will see some cases of Uber crime committed to the passengers and the drivers as well.
Uber crime Committed against passengers
A case of sexual Uber crime
A woman from Delft, Wynberg, South Africa, was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver on the 27 July 2017. The man arrived at her house and asked if he could use the restroom. When he came out of the restroom he kissed her on the neck, put his arm around her and touched her vagina. She pushed him away and told him to leave her house.
The police in the Western Cape launched a manhunt for this Uber driver who they believed is in his mid-twenties. The victim told the police the driver’s account was deleted after the incident.
Uber Africa is working with the police and supplied them with the driver’s information; Uber also banned the man from using the Uber application. Samantha Allenberg, spokesperson for Uber said that it is deplorable what happened and no one should go through this.
Uber drivers are required to show their identification number, driver’s license, vehicle registration, vehicle insurance, valid bank account and background checks before they are allowed to drive for Uber.
Uber driver targets drunk patrons to sexually assault them
Nicolas Morales 44, an Uber driver targeted the regions of Alhambra, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood areas with nightclubs and preyed on intoxicated women. One of his victims called him to a Hollywood club on Cahuenga Boulevard; he drove her to a secluded area and raped her repeatedly.
After a multi-agency investigation that included the Alhambra, Los Angeles, and Burbank County Sheriff’s Departments he was taken into custody. Nicolas was charged in February 2018 with 27 felony counts that range from sexual assault to attempted kidnapping. He committed these crimes between October 2016 and January 2018, if convicted he could face 300 years in jail. The police connected him to the cases through DNA.
Another Uber driver Carlos Pichinte 40, of Los Angeles has been arrested by the Beverly Hills police. Carlos picked up the women in West Hollywood and drove her to Beverly Hills where he raped her. He is facing charges of rape and kidnapping.
Criminal Uber driver hide in the trunk of a car to ambush his victims
Late 2016, 2 Uber drivers were attacking passengers in Johannesburg’s Northern Suburbs, in two separate cars.
A 64-year-old woman used the Uber service in July 2016. She was driven to a secluded area, robbed and raped by the Uber driver.
In August 2016, a couple was robbed and raped by two Uber drivers who were hiding in the trunk of an Uber car.
The police detained the suspects after weeks of investigating. One of the men was an Uber driver and the other man was a security guard. There was a third suspect who fled and was still at large. The two men were released and the case was withdrawn until further investigations.
Uber collaborated with the police which led to the Uber driver’s arrest. The Uber driver had a valid driver license and his back ground check was clear.
Recently Uber urged the passenger’s to make sure of the driver’s details before accepting the ride and share information with family and friends on the application.
Imagine taking a Uber and the driver gets arrested?
Kevin Jerome an Uber driver from Atlanta was arrested in 2018 for outstanding warrants. At the time of his arrest, he was on duty with two passengers in the car.
The police said they ran the plates of Kevin’s car randomly and saw there were warrants out for two counts of rape, two counts of sexual battery and three counts of aggravated burglary.
Uber said they were investigating the incident. They said when they signed the driver up his record was clean. He got charged with the crimes after signup and without them knowing. Uber announced their new policy to re-run background checks on the drivers on an annual basis in April 2018.
In late April CNN investigation found 100 Uber drivers had been accused of sexually abusing and assaulting their passengers in the past four years. Lyft a main competitor of Uber changed their policies allowing sexual victims to sue companies in open court.
Uber driver steals woman’s luggage, another case of crazy Uber Crime
Carla Coetzee from Durban was robbed of her belongings by an Uber driver in October 2017. Carla used Uber to transport her from the King Shaka airport to her home. She noticed something strange as the driver was not friendly and stared at her.
When she arrived home she asked the driver to open the boot so she could retrieve her luggage. The driver refused and moved towards her, he pushed her and tried to take her handbag. She started to scream and ran towards her house.
When she ran into her house the driver got into the car and sped off with her luggage still in the car. The driver’s information was shared on social media by Carla’s employer but, has been taken off because of legal issues. She has since opened a case at the Durban police and reported the incident to Uber.
Uber has reached out to Carla to offer their support and has since removed the driver’s information of the application. Uber said this is one of the reasons they added the feedback option after you take a ride to ensure the safety of the passengers.
I feel even though there is a feedback feature it will not stop Uber crime altogether but it is a step in the right direction.
Cases of Uber Crime where the drivers were the victims
Uber car set alight
Lindelani Mashau an Uber driver from Johannesburg died on 12th of June 2017. Lindelani was in his car outside Loftus Versveld, Pretoria waiting for a client at the Springbok Rugby match when his car was petrol bombed.
Since Uber started in South Africa the drivers are targets of assaults, robbery, and hijackings. There is a war between Uber and taxis and several Uber drivers have lost their lives and livelihood because of this.
Three weeks before Lindelani was killed by another driver from Kensington, Johannesburg; the vehicle was also set alight, the driver was lucky and escaped the horrible ordeal.
Movement spokesperson Zweli Ngwenya said that despite everything they do to help the Uber drivers be safe Uber crime is still on the rise and the only thing that will help is if the police start to take swift action.
Samantha Allenberg, spokesperson for Uber said they are in talks with the ministry of police. They are working on a cross-functional strategy to bring order to the transport industry. Samantha said there are over 40 reported cases which they are aware of. At the Gautrain stations, Uber drivers were intimidated and the company had to hire private security on site to monitor the pickup and drop-offs.
Samantha said they have been in contact with all the stakeholders including metered taxi; they were keen to offer their technology to the taxis to boost their profit. In the meantime, the Uber movement is collecting signatures for a petition to hand over to the Police minister Fikile Mbalula.
Uber driver becomes a victim of crime on Christmas day
On Christmas day 2017 in New Jersey, an Uber driver was sent by women to Badger Avenue and West Runyon Street through the application. When he arrived he was met by two men. After they got into the car they robbed the Uber driver at gunpoint from his cash, cell phone, and his 2005 Subaru Impreza. The following Monday the police found the car with a man sleeping inside the car.
The police charged Bishaun Willaims 19, with stolen property after someone reported he was trying to steal the car. The two men that stole the car left the car on the border of the South and Central wards where Bishaun found the car.
Uber driver beat-up by a drunk passenger
Edward Caban 23 an Uber driver from California was assaulted on the 30th of October 2015.
Edward was asked by Mr. Golden to pick him up at the Newport Beach Bar. Edward struggled to hear where the destination of Mr. Golden was so he decided to drop him off at Newport Boulevard parking lot in Costa Mesa.
Mr. Golden was drunk as he was enjoying the Halloween festivities. He punched and slapped the side of Edward’s face. He then hits him in the head and grabs him by the hair and slammed his head into the driver’s side door.
Mr. Golden has since made a public apology to Edward saying he is truly remorseful and could not remember the incident. Mr. Golden was working in the marketing departing of Taco Bell but was fired after the incident.
Edward’s lawyer Rivers Morrell III said that Edward does not accept his apology and has no desire to discuss or to meet Mr. Golden.
On the 6th of November 2015, Edward announced that he is going to quit his job and leave the state. Edward said the trauma affected his sleep, and he struggles to focus on tasks during the day. He is seeking help from professional counselors and support from family and friends.
Sexual assault Uber crime committed against a driver from San Francisco
In November 2015, Becky Graham 42 an Uber driver from San Francisco picked up two men from a bar in San Diego. When she reached the destination one of the men said he wanted to give her a tip and grabbed her face and said the tip is on the tip of her tongue.
The man put his tongue in her ear and licked the side of her face while the other man grabbed her from behind and tried to pull her to the back seat. They told her that she was going to the hotel with them; she screamed and fought them off.
Becky sustained injuries on her ribs, neck, shoulder and some of her teeth were also damaged. She reported the assault to the police and to Uber but, the case is at a standstill. And the San Francisco Uber area was under scrutiny over the treatment of their drivers.
Uber Driver Held at gunpoint and later shot at
In Texas, Atascocita an Uber driver was attacked. It happened on the 14th of February 2018. Two men blocked off the female Uber driver’s car at the intersection of Timber Forest and Eagle Springs.
They demanded money and her phone while pointing a gun at her head; they threatened to kill her if she did not give them the money. She insisted that she had nothing on her, the gunman took a few things from the car and then left.
After a few minutes, the gunman returned and started shooting on her while she was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher. One of the bullets missed her by inches.
The Uber driver just clutched her dog and screamed: ”I need the police they are shooting at me”. Later that afternoon one of the suspects was caught using the Uber driver’s credit card at a gas station.
13 Interesting Uber Crime Statistics from different countries and cities
The sexual offenses in taxi’s and private cars went up from 136 in 2015 to 164 in 2016.
Convictions are easier when it is booked over the application.
Early in 2017, Uber’s Licence in London was suspended for health and safety reasons.
In 2016 half of the sexual assault case convictions were people working for Uber according to the sources.
In none of the cases were black license drivers were charged for any crimes.
In 2016, over 50 present of Uber drivers was charged with sexual assault. In October 2016, Uber lost an employment tribunal. It was ruled that drivers should be classed as workers and not self-employed. According to sources the sexual attacks against Uber driver’s is now 1 attack a week.
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It is speculated that between 170 and several thousand sexual harassment cases have been filed against women drivers. This is over a two and a half year period.
January 2015, by the Bureau of Labour Statics a report showed Uber services are safe but, the homicide for Uber drivers is between nine and nineteen per 100,000 workers.
In 2016, a judge ruled that just because Uber drivers are independent contractors does not mean the company cannot be sued for sexual assaults the drivers commit to passengers.
After Reuters questioned Uber about multiple murders and robberies it took Uber five months to implement a policy to keep track of passengers by using their social security number.
According to a CNN investigation, there are 103 Uber drivers that have been accused of sexual assault and abuse of their customers in 2018.
In 2016, Uber was testing a panic button for the drivers that are linked to armed response across Johannesburg, because of all the carjackings.
In 2017, transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi said that the Uber attacks are spiraling out of control and private guards and security will be dispatched to control the intimidation and violence.
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A bit of background about Uber
The maker of the Uber application where customers can book their own drivers is called Uber Technologies Inc. The company was founded in 2009, by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. The application was released in June 2010, the initial service was to provide an affordable black car service that later turned into ride-hailing company that is worth billions. In 2015, it was a busy year for Uber when they launch the Uber Advanced Technology Centre at Carnegie Mellon. They also have an Uber Pool in Los Angeles and New York City.
Uber could not compete in the Chinese market and sold the operations to Didi Chuxing in August 2016.
The launch of Uber sparked protests in London, Paris and Berlin over cab drivers that felt the prices are too low. The application has been banned by Berlin and Uber’s new license to operate in London has been rejected. Because of all the scandals around the Uber application, founder Travis Kalanick resigned in June 2017.
For the time period from 2009 to 2016, Uber raised 11.5 Billion dollars from venture capitalist and private equity. Uber is the biggest start-up company in the world and in 2017 Uber’s evaluation was 68 billion dollars.
The hail riding industry is dominated by Uber, but despite their phenomenal success they are unstable and that may hurt the company to gain more capital. Uber’s market shares in the United States have had a boost and Uber is almost as big as their current rival Lyft. Uber aims to have an advantage over the competitors with the self-driving car’s technology.
The technology was still in its beta phase in 2017, and Uber has yet to declare when they will launch their new technology. According to sources, Uber’s success will depend on how the company will be managed and how the company will handle the current crises they face.
This concludes this post about Uber crime. Whatever you do be safe out there and when in doubt rather phone someone else to come pick you up.