ST. LOUIS – Mahad Abdi has had his cab license revoked and seized since 2015. He has a long criminal record, including convictions for harassment and assault.
A St. Louis Taxicab Commission enforcement officer caught him again Saturday, accepting fares outside the Enterprise Center.
An officer spotted Abdi taking cab fares in the same white mini-van we saw him driving last year, but this time instead of it saying Royal Taxi, it now says “VIP Taxi 583-9497.”
The officer wrote, “Abdi… was unable to produce proof of liability insurance.” He added, “(Abdi’s) front and back license plates did not match.” He continued, “The Rejis and Department of Revenue database showed no known history of either plate number. This could indicate that the plates were altered or fake.”
The enforcement officer let him go with this summons to appear in court next month. It says that Abdi, “refused to sign.”
Speaking with Fox 2 by phone, Abdi said, “I’m not picking up customers or anything. I’m just driving around.”
Here’s what you need to look for before getting in any car.
A real, licensed, cab driver will have a hanging identification card. It looks like a driver’s license with four red numbers.
Then check the vehicle back window. It will have a large black and white sticker, also with four numbers.
Uber and Lyft rules are different, with those private companies doing their own background checks and giving customers assurances through smartphone apps. Uber has also now launched a way for passengers to report real-time complaints while they’re getting a ride.
You may be wondering why Taxicab Commission enforcement has not stopped Mahad Abdi from driving. Fox 2 uncovered his three previous citations were pleaded down in Municipal Court to “excessive noise” violations. We’ll attend his March hearing to see if a judge takes stronger action this time.