Police warn taxi and Uber drivers of Loop robberies

Chicago Police issued an alert Wednesday warning taxi and Uber drivers of several recent cellphone robberies in the Loop.

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Thieves are going after cell phones in downtown Chicago and their targeting a specific crowd: taxi and Uber drivers.

Police told FOX 32 the crimes are happening in the 100 block of North Michigan and State Street, and nearby on Randolph and Lake streets.

All seven crimes happened in a one month span, taking place from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“Uber is used to going everywhere in the city, good and bad parts, and you want to make sure you have a concerted effort to protect you and your vehicle,” said Uber driver Scottie Roldan. “These people see people who are a little inexperienced or haven't been doing it long and they jump at opportunity.”

Chicago police say the criminals seem to be working in pairs. In one case, one handed a driver a paper as the other person snuck in on the passenger side and stole the driver’s phone.

Out of the half dozen reported incidents, a handgun was reported only once.

“Make sure you pick up the right person, don't pick up anybody random on the street and be aware of your surroundings,” said Uber driver Sabino Mayen.

Roldan says after 6 months of driving for Uber, that he will take his chances.

“I can live without the phone, more safety for myself obviously and the vehicle," said Roldan.

Uber drivers are not allowed to carry a weapon, which is a company policy.

If you know anything about these crimes, call police: (312) 747-8384

The robberies happened:

–about 7 p.m. Dec. 22 in the 0-100 block of East Randolph;

–at 2:55 p.m. Jan. 2 in the 100 block of North State;

-at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 7 in the 100 block of North State;

-at 3:15 p.m. Jan. 7 in the 0-100 block of East Randolph;

-at 3:31 p.m. Jan. 15 in the 100 block of North Michigan;

-at 5:48 p.m. Jan. 16 in the 100 block of North Michigan; and

-at 2:15 p.m. Jan. 19 in the 0-100 block of East Lake.

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