CLAYTON, Mo. – It’s one thing to rob a bank. It’s another to rob a bank and use a taxi cab as a getaway vehicle. That’s exactly what happened last Wednesday, shortly after 10:30 a.m.
“One of our cabs was carrying someone who had apparently robbed a bank,” Matt Beumer, chief dispatcher for Laclede Cab Company, said.
Clayton Police said the woman told the bank teller that she had a gun and then demanded cash. The employee complied and the woman left in the cab.
“It’s not our normal description of a getaway car,” Clayton Police Corporal Jenny Schwartz said. “Thankfully, because it was a cab, we were able to reach out to the cab company and figure out where the cab was.”
With the assistance of GPS technology, Beumer was able to locate the taxi cab’s movement.
“I told [police], I can track him in real time if that helps you out any. And so, we stayed on the phone. It only took them about five minutes or so. Reading off the directions and what streets they were on,” he said.
With the help of surrounding agencies, police stopped the car, and the woman was taken into custody without incident in Hanley Hills.
The cab driver was unaware that that while the meter was running, his passenger was running from the law.
“Completely flabbergasted,” Beumer said. “He had no idea until police rolled up on him. ‘I didn’t do anything!’”
Beumer has worked with Laclede Cab Company for more than a decade. He said it is rare for cabs to be used by criminals. But he has seen it happen a couple times over the years, he said.
“Using a getaway vehicle that’s easily tracked is probably not the best idea. But that was the choice they made that day,” he said.
The suspect’s motive is unclear, police said. She is being held for first-degree robbery on $150,000 cash-only bond.
Police said no crimes were reported at the other banks the woman visited that morning.