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Police say robbery was the motive in cab driver murder

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A cab driver was found shot to death in the Central West End.

The car was found at 10 am Wednesday on Laclede near Kingshighway.

The victim has been identified as Timothy Grice. He was 38-years-old and lived in south St. Louis.

A fellow cab driver who knew Grice said he had only been driving cabs for about a year and was known for always wearing Cardinals t-shirts.

Residents tell police Grice frequently sat in his parked cab at that spot, and GPS shows he pulled in there at about 2 am.  Neighbors said they heard a shot at about 2:30 this morning.

Local cab driver Hassan said unfortunately they know this is a dangerous job.

"We expect this to happen at any time to us especially in the night or on the weekend because the bad guys are thinking we have cash money in the car and in the car no one can see them to do what they do," said Hassan.

According to police it appears that one shot was fired from outside the car that hit Grice in the head.

"It is unknown if the driver and the suspect knew each other it is certainly possible but right now it seems like the motive for the shooting was a robbery," said St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson.

The taxi commission said they think robbery was the motive because Grice’s cell phone was stolen and he was found with his pockets turned inside out.

Jim Whyte the Executive Director of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative said overall the Central West End is not getting any more dangerous but unfortunate events do happen in the area.

"Statistically speaking we typically don’t see homicides happening in the Central West End but I think is indicates something going on a larger picture of what’s happening in the region and that is an uptick in violent street crimes," said Whyte.

The Taxi Commission said a few local companies are looking into putting cameras in their cabs.

Ron Klein of the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission:

"Driving a taxicab is, statistically, a dangerous job: drivers interact with strangers at all hours. Companies have protocols in place to make it safer. The Taxicab Commission has reminded all companies to check on those practices and make sure that drivers observe them."