Drivers beware: Police issue warning after rideshare robbery

LANSING TOWNSHIP, MI (WILX) - Rideshare horror stores typically highlight passengers as victims, but Lansing Township Police warn drivers should be careful as well.

The money she makes isn’t the only part of the job Lyft driver Sheila enjoys.

“I’m a people person so I get to communicate and talk to people,” she told News 10 as we rode along with her.

But after hearing about what happened to another driver in her own neighborhood, she’s balancing other feelings.

“That would make you nervous, it’s like oh my gosh,” Sheila said.

Lansing Township Police say what started off as a typical busy Saturday night for a rideshare driver quickly turned into a bad situation.

“She got a call to pick up a client. That client ended up essentially holding her against her will forcing her to drive to an ATM where they met the second suspect involved who took her ATM card and the long and the short of it is withdrew some money based on what we think was a fraudulent deposit into her account,” Chief John E. Joseph said. “This was all against her will, she believed one of them had a firearm she couldn't tell because they were behind her. So she drove them around to get this money and then left.”

The two suspects involved have been identified, one of them is currently in police custody. But police say drivers should still be careful.

“If you don’t feel like something is right then it’s not,” Chief Joseph said. “You can pull over and get out of the car, you can call 9-1-1 on your phone, you can drive to a police station instead of where you’re supposed to be taking this person.”

Both popular rideshare platforms Lyft and Uber have reporting options in their apps. But Sheila says, that may not be enough.

“I picked up a ride not too long ago and he was telling me that I should carry me some mace and I was like, ‘huh’. I never really thought about it,” Sheila said.

The incident, which happened Saturday night is now in the process of being taken care of.

“The officers here at the township police department are seeking warrants as we speak so I’m hoping by the end of the day we’ll have a resolution.

Police say this is the first incident of this nature happening in the area. They say they’re working with local agencies to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.

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