SURREY RCMP on Tuesday released photos of the suspect in the June 21 robbery of a taxi driver in Surrey and appealed to the public for help in identifying him.
The RCMP said they have worked closely with taxi companies and advised taxi drivers to be diligent regarding personal safety.
THE June 21 stabbing and robbery of taxi driver Satnam Bahia of Guildford Cab has been one of several robberies or attempted robberies with assault of taxi drivers that have taken place in the city over the last few months, as The VOICE reported last month.
The June 21 (Sunday) incident took place in the 13300-block of 105A Avenue at about 5:30 a.m. The suspect was last seen running westbound on 105A Avenue.
The injured taxi driver called police for help. He told police that he had picked up a lone male fare in the area of 108th Avenue and 144th Street in Surrey. The passenger whipped out a knife, stabbed the taxi driver in the arm and hand and took off with his wallet, cash and cell phone.
The taxi driver, who was bleeding, got out of the taxi and was assisted by pedestrians who just happened to be in the immediate area. Police officers along with several members of the Integrated Police Dog Services attempted to track down the suspect, but were unable to locate him.
The taxi driver was transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries and was later released.
GUILDFORD Cab General Manager Moonyem Mohammad told The VOICE in June that several taxi drivers had been assaulted in the last few months in such robbery incidents.
He said: “We have brought this to the Surrey RCMP’s attention at our last meeting (sometime in May), so they are aware of this situation.”
He added: “There was an assault before too – the driver was injured on top of his left eye. That happened in April. He was taken to hospital. There were a few minor ones where the drivers didn’t have to go to the hospital, but there were several of them too.”
When asked if any security measures had been suggested, Mohammad replied: “Not from the RCMP yet.”
However, the taxi companies have spoken to each other about how to tackle such incidents. He said: “Anytime this happens, we inform each other to prepare ourselves better and I think that’s the best we can offer.”
Also, the companies have taken the initiative to upgrade their cameras to take better quality pictures which would help in getting a better conviction rate.
When asked about the camera in the taxi in last Sunday’s incident, Mohammad replied: “I can’t comment on it because it is part of the RCMP investigation.”
He added: “So far every camera that we have installed has been in working condition and the drivers are responsible to maintain them 100 per cent.”
ANYONE with information on the identity of the suspect is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.