Another thing to fear in your late-night ride! Uber and Lyft are cooperating with an investigation that's happening in Baltimore into a series of carjackings of rideshare drivers that subsequently turn into robberies of rideshare riders.
Arrests have been made but an investigation is ongoing in Baltimore into a scary series of robberies in which both rideshare drivers and passengers are victims. As CBS News reports, the suspects allegedly used the Uber and Lyft apps to summon a driver, then carjacked the driver's vehicle, and then proceeded to use the driver-side apps to pick up passengers, and then kidnap and rob them.
There were reportedly three separate, similar incidents in a 48 hour period last weekend.
A representative for the FBI's Baltimore field office said the agency was "putting all of our resources into these incidents."
In one incident, which a victim named Steven describes on a GoFundMe page, there were two suspects involved, and when Steven, the Uber customer, went to approach his ride around 1 a.m. Saturday, he was approached from behind by one of the suspects who demanded his money and phone at gunpoint. Steven was then allegedly hit in the forehead with the gun and forced into the backseat of the car, and driven around for 45 minutes. The thieves drained his checking and savings accounts in that time using Cash App.
As the Baltimore Banner reports, in another incident, a Lyft driver was kidnapped and thrown in his own trunk while four suspects committed multiple robberies. The driver was also robbed of his wallet, phone, and Air Jordan sneakers.
A spokesperson for Lyft told the Baltimore Banner that the incident was "deeply troubling” and the company had “permanently removed the rider profile from the Lyft community." Also, the rep said, "We have reached out to the driver to offer our support and are assisting law enforcement with their investigation."
There was also reportedly an incident in which a man was kidnapped in an Uber and driven to an ATM and forced to empty his account at gunpoint.
Uber has called the case "deeply concerning," and they gave an odd statement basically telling all Uber riders to try to doublecheck the appearance and identity of their driver in addition to checking the license plate?!
"We encourage riders and drivers to cancel trips if they don’t feel safe and remind riders to always double check the details of their ride — car make and model, driver name and photo, and license plate — before getting in."
Uber is also urging people use the emergency button in their app when something like this occurs.
It's unclear how many suspects are in custody, but Baltimore police and the FBI say they are continuing to investigate.
Photo: Viktor Bystrov