NYC taxi drivers demand action following spike in carjackings, robberies

Taxi drivers in New York City say they've had it after a string of carjackings and robberies in the Bronx.

Residents of many city neighborhoods depend on radio-dispatched car services like High Class for door-to-door rides at affordable prices. Drivers often live in the communities they serve, but now they say getting behind the wheel has become a high-risk occupation.

"Every driver that's active and working, I know exactly where they are," Chris, a dispatcher at the West Fordham Road High Class location said. 

Bamory Sanogo, a father of four, says a male-female robbery team stole $135 from him. The male suspect put him in a chokehold from the back seat. Then the woman moved in.

"She opens the door and put her hands in my pocket and takes out my money," Sanogo said.

"From April 1 to date, 9 carjackings, 2 armed robberies, 8 in the Bronx, 1 in Brooklyn, and we believe it's the same group of people," Fernando Mateo, Founder of the NY State Federation of Taxi Drivers said.

The NYPD confirmed there were 6 incidents. Chris the dispatcher, believes the number is higher than 9 because many drivers don't wait around for police to file a report.

Drivers say that robbers have devised several different methods of stealing money from them. Moreover, thieves don't have a typical profile, ranging from young people to even older women.

"It's always a different scenario of ways of stealing from the drivers," Chris said.

He added that there's no typical profile of the suspects. "Even older ladies, where they will definitely tell the driver 'I dropped something, could you help me look for it?" Chris said.

"We believe that they take the car and they pick up passengers in the streets, because the vehicle has TLC plates and they rob those passengers," Mateo said.

An NYPD task force is investigating these crimes. 

In the meantime, Mateo and the New York State Taxi Federation are offering a $7,500 reward for information leading to an arrest.