Last week, cops warned The City’s taxi drivers of an armed thug suspected in at least seven cabbie robberies since July 14. In the majority of the cases, the drivers were robbed after dropping the crook off on quiet, tree-lined Beideman Street in the Western Addition.
On Monday, a similar armed robbery was reported at that intersection around 2 a.m., police said.
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.
An email warning circulating among taxi drivers states that the serial crook often hails 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 said.
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.
He had an accomplice with him in one heist, police said. The accomplice tried to hold up the driver with a toy gun, but failed and was later arrested. The serial crook, however, got away, police said.
Surveillance cameras in cab cars captured the serial crook on video, police Lt. Troy Dangerfield 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 robberis can be stopped before they happen.”