A Lancaster County woman is facing theft charges after she took a pricey taxi ride to her Pennsylvania home and ditched the New York City cabbie before paying, police said.
Kelly. A. Boyer, 44, of Denver, Pa., arrived at her Hawthorne Drive home early Sunday morning after a roughly two-and-a-half-hour drive from New York City, according to a police report.
According to the affidavit, before leaving from New York City, Boyer negotiated the fare with the cab driver for the amount of $600. Upon arrival at her residence, authorities say Boyer exited the cab, punched in her garage door access code, went into her house and then “barricaded herself” indoors.
According to the affidavit, an officer from the East Cocalico Township Police Department was dispatched to Boyer’s home just before 1:15 a.m. Sunday with reports of a taxicab fare evasion.
Upon arrival at the scene, Rahman Atiqur, the cab driver, told the officer that he provided a ride to Boyer for a pre-negotiated amount, picked her up in the city, dropped her off at her house, and when she said she would go inside and return with the money, she never did. He said he waited 15 minutes before calling police.
Atiqur said he watched Boyer punch in the numeric door code to her garage door, go inside, and then close the door behind her. Police records indicate the Boyer home is a familiar one to the officer and that he has had “numerous contacts with the above named defendant.”
Authorities said, “numerous attempts were made by the responding officers to contact Boyer. The garage door was still open and the lights were on inside the house. Boyer refused to answer the door or answer the phone.” But the driver was reportedly able to identify her from a photo.
A spokesman for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission said they have 29 people in their database with Atiqur's name and have been unsuccessful at tracking him down for details.
"We were very sorry to hear about this driver's experience, but very pleased to know he reached out to the local authorities and that they are working on it," said TLC Commissioner/Chair Meera Joshi.
"Fare-jumping is every bit as much a theft as shoplifting or worse, and drivers should always reach out to the support and protection of law enforcement they deserve when they've been victimized."
A manager at Philadelphia Taxicab Service up on Aramingo Avenue in the Northeast, who declined to be named, said that fare-jumping happens all the time in Philadelphia - a lot of times when riders are drunk.
Occasionally, and at nighttime, his drivers will have to wake riders up in the back of their cabs to get money from them. He also said it, "obviously depends on how bad the situation is," whether or not police would get involved.
"A lot of things happen in this business," he said.
"For a ride like [Boyer's], most people would ask for the money in advance."
Boyer was arrested Monday morning and is being charged with theft of services.