Multiple Lyft and Uber drivers in the Chicago area have recently been the victim of carjackings. It seems carjackers are using the apps to target victims and steal their vehicles.
One of the almost-victims, Kevin Harvey, spoke with NBC Chicago about his experience. He has driven more than 2,000 rides between the two rideshare platforms and had a close call while delivering an Uber Eats order in the city.
Harvey was about to drop off a customer’s food when he noticed he was being followed by a suspicious car: “I personally have made the decision to just not really drive at all after the sun sets. Everyone is going to have different situations and different comfort levels but situations like this are extremely scary especially for folks who are 100% relying on rideshare or similar apps for income. Luckily, I got out of the situation safe, so we’ll never necessarily know.”
Not every driver has been as lucky as Harvey. An unnamed 24-year-old driver was carjacked near 43rd and Saint Lawrence Avenue in Bronzeville around 3 a.m. on December 13. At the time, he was picking up a passenger named Maurice, who had a friend with him.
The two men got into the 2016 black Lexus sedan and held the driver at gunpoint. The victim got out of the car, ran down the street, and flagged down someone who called 911. Another rideshare driver reported being carjacked at the same location. Police are investigating to determine if there’s a connection between the two incidents.
Bryan Greening, an attorney with Legal Rideshare, said, “We have seen many instances in which riders use phony accounts, bogus names, email addresses, or burner phones to request rides, and sometimes during those acts, there are criminal acts that do follow. It’s a public safety hazard certainly we would like to see companies do more to protect drivers and to ensure driver safety.”
Lyft has responded to the incidents with the following statement: “Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and the incident described is deeply disturbing. We have been in communication with the driver and continue to offer our support and assistance. We have deactivated the account used and stand ready to assist law enforcement with any investigation.”
If you’re involved in a situation like those described above, it’s essential to understand your legal rights and options. Contact the Rideshare Law Group to learn more.