KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two men were assaulted after hopping in a car with a phony cab driver last weekend. Could the popularity of ride share services like Uber and Lyft fuel more of these crimes? Members of the Kansas City Transportation Group say yes.
The weekend attack happened after two men were trying to catch what they thought was a non-traditional looking cab near the Power and Light District downtown.
KCTG General Manager Terry O'Toole says he isn't surprised by the assault.
“For your whole life you've been told by people, ‘don't get in the car with strangers, don't ride with strangers.’ Now we're encouraging it," O’Toole said.
He says now that ride-sharing programs like Uber and Lyft have popped up in the metro, the door is wide open for crooks to strike again. Police say Sunday that two victims were waiting at a parking structure when one of them found what he thought to be a non-traditional looking taxi.
They arranged for a 10 dollar ride and got in. But when the victims realized the driver was going to wrong way, they asked him to stop. Police say instead, that's when the driver took them to an ally near 16th and Broadway. The victims say when they got out of the car, they were assaulted by not only the driver, but two men who had been waiting in the ally.
One victim told police one suspect went for his pockets, but didn’t get anything. The victims were taken for treatment. Police say they can't be certain the suspects had been posing as a ride-share driver, but O'Toole says it would be the perfect cover for crooks.
“If you look for a cab that is marked you should see a color scheme that you recognize. You should see a phone number on the outside. You should see an identifiable cab number," he said.
O'Toole's group, which owns Yellow Cab and 10-10 Taxi, has argued ride-sharing services should comply with city ordinances.
Know before you go: Use the following links to help you identify what these ride services look like