Local cab company uses GPS technology to keep drivers safe

By Tara Morgan - bio | email | facebook

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - In Petersburg, three people accused in two separate robberies of cab drivers are now behind bars. This as one Richmond company has taken steps to keep its drivers safe.

Zequez Jones is charged in a March 5th robbery. While, Shaniqua Hobson and Leonard Stephens-Staton, Junior are charged in a robbery that happened the next day.

Police are still looking for the killer of another cab driver, Raphael Cudjoe, just two days ago. As frightening as those crimes are, they're a dark reality for cab drivers trying to make a living.

The murder and robberies in Petersburg are on the minds of cab drivers throughout metro-Richmond. At Napoleon Taxi, the dispatchers know exactly where the drivers are at all times, in case something goes terribly wrong. The crimes hit close to home for Jonathan Trainum.

"It's a tragedy in of itself for somebody to have their life taken over a few dollars. It's senseless," said Trainum, owner of Napoleon Taxi in Richmond.

Nearly two years ago, he installed state of the art GPS tracking for his drivers' safety.

"We're the only company in the Richmond city area that tracks all their cabs by GPS. That kind of thing is important for a driver's piece of mind, but it also deters the majority of the criminal element," said Trainum.

Dispatchers can zoom in on a drivers' location and follow their movements in real time. Trainum said all customers have detailed files.

"We dig a little deeper into the information we get when we take an order," said Trainum.

Petersburg police haven't linked the cabbie crimes. Investigators continue to speak with the two men and a woman charged in the robberies. Trainum runs his business the same as he did before.

"It's business as usual. It's always a high priority to make sure the customer is an actual patron and not someone who could potentially do harm to one of our drivers," said Trainum.

Trainum said by law drivers must have change for a twenty, but don't carry more than $50 at one time. If they don't feel like the customer is on the up-and-up, Trainum said his drivers don't have to stick around to find out.

"If they pull up and the customer acts like they're acting a little weird, they've been told and instructed it's within the law for them to pull off," said Trainum.

If you have information about the Petersburg cab driver murder, call Crime Solvers at 861-1212. 

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