Law enforcement in Atlanta, Georgia are warning rideshare drivers about people posing as riders. The thieves are asking drivers to exit their vehicle only to take off in it.
In only the past three weeks, Atlanta police have investigated eight auto thefts where criminals were ordering Uber and Lyft trips as an opportunity to carjack vehicles. All of the incidents occurred within miles of each other in the Mechanicsville neighborhood.
According to police, “The suspect will attempt to lure the driver out of his or her vehicle by attempting to get some assistance with opening the trunk. When the driver exits the vehicle, one or more suspects will immediately enter the vehicle and drive away.”
In an effort to protect drivers, Altana police have suggested the following: “Try to position your vehicle in a way that allows you to leave a location easily if needed. If someone attempts to lure you out of your vehicle, you should treat this as a red flag. If you know your trunk is functioning, driver off from the location and report this activity to police. If you do have to step out of your vehicle, turn the vehicle off, take your keys, and lock the door.”
Uber and Lyft have both responded to the concerns from Atlanta police. In an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, an Uber spokesperson said, “Safety is a top priority for us and what’s been reported is very concerning. We are constantly working to enhance safety technology in the app for riders and drivers, and work closely with law enforcement to assist with investigations and develop safety information for drivers.”
A Lyft spokesperson said, “Safety is fundamental to Lyft and we are working closely with law enforcement to help keep drivers safe. Since day one, we’ve worked hard to design policies and features to protect and employer drivers, and are always working to make Lyft an even safer platform for our community.”
Lyft allows riders and drivers to connect with an ADT security professional discreetly. That person is then notified of the rider’s or driver’s location, the vehicle’s model and license plate number, and the drop-off location so police can respond to the right site if needed. Lyft also contacts the user to ask if emergency assistance is required if a ride stops too soon or goes on longer than it should.
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