Takoma Park Police Chief Warns Residents About A Recent Crime Trend

takoma park policeTakoma Park Police Chief Alan Goldberg is warning residents, especially the Hispanic community, about a recent crime trend involving unlicensed ride service companies.

Over the past week, Goldberg says police have experienced an increase in armed robberies by suspected Hispanic gang members in the Takoma Park and Langley Park areas.

In a recent post on Facebook, Chief Goldberg released the following statement: 

“I want to warn community members, particularly our Hispanic community, of a recent crime trend. Many in the Hispanic community do not use credit cards; thus, they tend not to use licensed and insured ride services such as Uber or Lyft. There are a number of unlicensed ride companies operating in the Langley Park area.”

“These drivers do not have company insurance or background checks. Additionally, it is a cash business. These drivers are people trying to pick up some extra money. Many of the drivers are undocumented, which increases their risk of being targeted as they are often reluctant to report crimes.”

“Over the past week, both Takoma Park and Langley Park, Prince George’s County, have experienced a number of armed robberies by Hispanic gang members where the driver is called to a secluded neighborhood. Generally, they commit several crimes in one night. We are aggressively working with Prince George’s County detectives on these cases.”

“Supporting these services creates the opportunity for crime against the drivers as well as a risk to the passengers.”

“First, using these illegal ride services is risky to the consumer. There is no way to know the level or kind of insurance coverage, experience or background the driver has. The success of these services has created a real risk to the drivers. As a cash business, the drivers are very vulnerable to be victimized.”

Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at MHicks@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter @mittimegan.

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