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Taxi Drivers Robbed Outside Of Vehicles Spark Concerns

Two New Orleans taxi drivers have been robbed at gunpoint outside of their vehicles.

Some are now wondering if new security cameras mounted inside of cabs are providing the intended layer of security.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter spoke to one leader in the transportation community about the growing concern.

It’s been cause for concern in the taxi cab community.

Two drivers were recently robbed in much the same way.

“Glad it wasn’t me, sad that sort of thing is happening,” victim’s neighbor Russell Williams said.

Police say the first incident happened a week ago, in the 3000 block of Fortin Street, in Mid-City.

The victim parked his cab and was entering his home, when a man forced his way inside, drew a gun, and demanded money.

The second armed robbery happened Sunday night outside of Hare Krishna Temple, located on Esplanade Avenue.

Again, the gunman approached the driver outside of his cab and demanded money.

“At least it happened outside of the cab which for some reason I think that’s a better position for the driver to be in,” Nawlins Cab President Sheree Kerner said.

Kerner believes the highly publicized installation of security cameras in New Orleans cabs might be why there are fewer reports of cabbies being robbed behind the wheel, but more when shifts end.

“Well they’re just going to have to figure out how to get a step ahead you know, I guess the cameras in the cab was one step now they gonna have to figure out another,” Williams said.

Investigators say the two most recent victims are drivers for the same cab company and may have been targeted.

It’s got night-time drivers looking over their shoulders.

“They have to be especially vigilant to avoid being a victim,” Kerner said.

She says drivers at Nawlins Cabs are being proactive.

Others should too.

“I think the industry needs to take this as a lesson that the drivers need to especially be careful now when they’re getting in and out of their vehicles.”

Both victims say the gunman was wearing a mask, partially covering his face.

Police aren’t sure if the two cases are related.   One suspect was seen getting into a dark colored SUV.