Medford police are looking for a man who robbed a cab driver at gunpoint Tuesday night.
The incident happened at about 11 p.m. after a female driver for Crown Taxi picked up a fare at the Bear Creek Shopping Center, according to Medford police Lt. Kerry Curtis. The male passenger asked to go to nearby Northwood Drive, just east of the shopping center.
“When they reached the destination, he displayed a black handgun and asked for money,” Curtis said.
The cab driver complied, Curtis said, giving up an undisclosed amount of cash. The man then “nonchalantly walked away,” Curtis said, reportedly north toward the intersection of Northwood Drive and Skeeters Lane.
No one was injured, police said.
Curtis added that the driver did not perceive anything suspicious about the man when he was first picked up, but that “he might have been under the influence.”
The suspect is described as a white male in his 20s, about 5-feet-9 and 160 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes and a thin mustache. He reportedly wore a light-colored, hooded sweatshirt and had the hood pulled over a red hat. He also wore a black and blue flannel shirt and wore light-colored jeans, Curtis said.
Cab robberies don’t happen very often, Curtis said.
“We don’t get reports like this very often at all, which is fortunate,” Curtis said. “It seems like they could potentially be targets, but no, they really don’t.”
Crown Taxi owner Michael White, who has been driving cabs for about eight years, agreed. He noted the October 2012 murder of cab driver Huey Huson, but said he couldn’t think of other incidents in recent history where local cab drivers’ lives were threatened.
“It’s very, very rare,” White said. “This is quite a shock to everybody.”
White said he’s looking into some policy changes for his company following the incident. One of the potential changes is to install cameras in the vehicles, though a decision has not been made yet.
“We kind of feel at this point especially that would be more beneficial, safety-wise,” White said. He said a likely change will be to institute a rule that no passengers can wear facial coverings when they get into the vehicle.
A detective has been assigned to the case, and the vehicle has been processed for evidence. Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Medford police at 541-770-4784.Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 541-776-4468.