Homecoming Stick Up: Taxi Driver Robbed

6 years 1 month 3 weeks ago Monday, October 17 2011 Oct 17, 2011 Monday, October 17, 2011 6:38:00 PM UTC October 17, 2011 in News
By: Meredith Baldwin
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COLUMBIA - A robbery that occurred over Homecoming weekend cost a Columbia taxi driver his earnings for the night, and his GPS.

Marcel Lambert, a taxi driver with Rick's Taxi Service, said he had just pulled into the Rolling Rock complex on Columbia's south side Saturday night to pick up a few passengers.  Smash! A bottle hit the passenger window of his van.

"I got out and I started asking the guy why he threw the bottle, and as I was talking to him - that's when these other guys approached me to get out of the driver's side and hit me in the back of the head and pulled the door open," said Lambert.

"He called me, and told me they had hit the car with a bottle, and I rushed over as soon as I could to see what had happened," said Rick Lacy, the owner of Rick's Taxi Service.

Police were at the scene by the time Lacy arrived, at 11:15 p.m. 

"I know when officers arrived, they were contacted by a taxi cab driver," said Latisha Stroer with the Columbia Police Department.  Officers were told that cab fare and a GPS had both been stolen.  

Both Lambert and Lacy said the police were questioning three college boys and a coed about the robbery.  However, after they finished questioning the suspects, police then told Lambert that no arrests would be made that night. 

"They told me that everyone had been drinking, and that the stories were conflicting with each other," said Lambert.

On Tuesday afternoon, Stroer said no arrests were made due to the conflicting stories. And she could not confirm there was a lot of drinking going on with the crowd.

"That was not written down in the police report, so I do not know what those levels were," said Stroer. 

Both Lacy and Lambert said they were very frustrated nothing was done Saturday night.

"They had the guys right there.  They had them - the three guys and one woman.  And they let them go," said Lacy.

"It's like saying to me - these are just some college kids out having fun, drinking, or whatever - you know - they didn't mean any harm to anyone. But this is something I had to go to the hospital over. This is something I am sufferring from," said Lambert.

Lambert says he feels the police department still isn't doing anything, after calling in Monday morning to speak with an investigator in the case and being told that the case had not been assigned.

"I called, and the lady at the desk told me she couldn't find any record of a robbery happening Saturday night at Rolling Rock," said Lambert.

However, after multiple calls from both Lambert and KOMU, police are now saying that a detective has been assigned to the case.

"Nothing like this has ever happened at this company.  I don't have a policy, because nothing's even ever happened. But starting now, I will be coming up with a policy, because this is just unacceptable," said Lacy.

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