Alleged bank robber calls cab

GPS tracking leads police to cab transporting suspect

Alleged bank robber calls cab

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A taxi driver finds herself in the middle of a crime. Police say a man tried to rob a bank in Evansville then took off in a cab.

Police pulled over a cab driver Wednesday at Hicks Drive and Covert Avenue. She says she knew something felt fishy with her passengers, but little did she know she was transporting an attempted felon.

Evansville 911: “We just had an attempted robbery.”

23-year-old Phillip Velasquez allegedly walked into Old National Bank Wednesday for a hold up.

Evansville 911: "He's no longer here. He ran out. We didn't give him anything. He had a note."

That proved unsuccessful.

Evansville 911: "He ran out the door into a taxi van, a red van."

That is, a uCabbi. Police say Velasquez and his girlfriend called the cab to take them to and from the bank. The driver found herself caught in the middle of an ongoing felony.

“She said that she knew something was up, and she just remained courteous and polite," says uCabbi Driver Coordinator Conor Griffin. "The suspect actually did not harm her in any way or attempt to threaten to harm her.”

Police say the suspect had a gun. Griffin tells us all their cabs have audio and video surveillance.

“The camera is located from the front windshield," explains Griffin. "That’s a two-way camera so it has a view of the interior and exterior of the cab at all times and also has the audio surveillance that picks up all conversation both inside and outside of the van.”

The entire encounter was captured on camera and submitted to police as evidence. In fact, GPS tracking technology was key in catching the suspect.

“We can literally tell down to the square foot where all of our drivers are,” says Griffin.

That is exactly how police caught up with the cab and arrested Velasquez.

Evansville 911: “Do you know what he was wearing? Orange hoodie, blue jeans.”

Now, if you think this sounds familiar -- you’re right. Just over a year ago, another bank robber called uCabbi.

“The ongoing joke is that even bank robbers know how fast uCabbi is so they attempt to call us with their getaways,” says uCabbi.

Of course, Griffin much prefers clients who are not committing crimes.

Velasquez made his first court appearance on Thursday. The judge found probable cause and gave him a $30,000 cash only bond.

He is due back in court on April 16.

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