Two Cab Companies Robbed, Dispatcher Quits

Posted at 9:36 PM, May 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-19 21:36:05-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 19, 2014)– A mini crime spree has hit the streets of Grand Rapids within the past three days.

A rash of robberies were reported downtown, two involving cab companies.

The other robbery took place at Ron’s Quick Stop on Bridge Street.

A dispatcher tells FOX 17 that when thieves robbed Yellow Cab employees in Grand Rapids early in the morning, they didn’t go after the drivers as they typically do.

They reportedly walked brazenly into the offices off Kalamazoo Street SE and went after the dispatcher and the phone operator.

“It was about 1:30 in the morning. Two masked men came in with guns,” said Heather Gardner, a day-dispatcher for Yellow Cab.

Gardner was not working at the time, but said it was a traumatic experience for two employees when the unknown men charged through the door, weapons in hand.

“Pointed one at the dispatcher, one at the phone operator and demanded the money. Which we don’t keep money here,” said Gardner.

She said the phone operator working that morning was nine months pregnant.

“The dispatcher asked them to leave the phone operator alone, that she didn’t need to be involved, that she was 9 months pregnant. They took his wallet,” said Gardner.

The thieves took a small amount of cash from that wallet and threw it aside.

Heather said police may have found prints since the men didn’t wear gloves.

“Cab drivers have gotten robbed before but never in the dispatch office,” said Gardner.

Meanwhile, just across town at Calder Cab, a driver there was robbed at around 1 am Sunday.

Heather called Calder Cab to find out which address the man was picked up so she could post signs to warn their drivers.

Meanwhile, the dispatcher in the robbery here was only on his second day at the desk, Heather said he has quit.

“Don’t blame him though.  I don’t know how well I would have taken it if it was me,” Gardner.

“We’ve been here for quite a few years. We service the community. That’s why we’re pretty shook up about it.”

“For that particular type of thing to happen is very, very scarey to all of us,” said Gardener.

Heather says now that the warmer weather is here, she’s concerned that crime will keep increasing.

She said the thieves in that incident reportedly fled the scene on foot.