Minneapolis police warn Uber, Lyft drivers after recent robberies

Police in Minneapolis are urging ride-share operators to take extra precautions due to a recent rise in crime targeting them.

Minneapolis Police said it has received multiple reports of Uber and Lyft drivers experiencing the following actions:

  • A request from service is made from a stolen phone,
  • A person meets the ride-share driver and asks them to wait a few minutes,
  • A group of armed people arrive in one or more stolen vehicle and block the driver from exiting,
  • The group surrounds the ride-share vehicle, takes the driver’s wallet, phone or other property,
  • The group assaults the driver and then leaves or also steals the ride-share vehicle.

Police said the vehicles used by the suspects typically are stolen or have no plates.

Since mid-August, MPD says there have been over 40 ride-share operators who have been targeted in aggravated robberies or carjackings, including 12 in just the past week.

The department said some arrests have been made but the trend has continued.

The department also urged all citizens to be aware and take precautions, even though residents have rarely been the target of these carjackings recently.

Police urge ride-share operators to:

  • Stay aware of surroundings, even in a locked vehicle,
  • Avoid using a phone for more than a couple of seconds,
  • Be extra cautious if asked to wait for customers,
  • Leave immediately if one or more vehicles or people approach nearby, particularly in unpopulated areas without visible pedestrian or vehicle traffic.

For anyone who falls victim to this type of crime, police say it’s important to remain calm, don’t fight or pursue suspects and try to get a good description of the suspects. Then, immediately call police and remain at the scene, if possible.