Taxi stolen as driver helped customer at kerb

A Dublin taxi driver had his car stolen as he helped a customer in Dublin's city centre yesterday afternoon.

The vehicle, which was purchased three weeks ago, was taken outside the Morrison hotel in Dublin at 5.30pm yesterday.

Speaking to the FM104 Phoneshow with Chris Barry, the taxi owner described his shock at turning around to see his vehicle stolen in a matter of seconds.

"I was collecting a fare outside the Morrison hotel, and I went over to the customer with an umbrella, because it was raining - [I] turned around, and there's my car going up the road up Jervis Street," he said.

The driver said he ran after the vehicle and almost caught it before it sped away.

"I'm absolutely devastated. It's my pride and joy ... it's very hard to get the money up to buy a taxi."

The driver is appealing for anyone who sees the highly-polished black Skoda Superb with a 12-WW registration to contact gardaí.

He also warned that would-be thieves are observing drop-off locations. "The guards say they're watching cars, taxis, pulling up to hotels … they'll watch for a few hours," he said.

The Garda Press Office confirmed it had received a report of the unauthorised taking of a vehicle in the area at that time.

That offence is distinct from the act of hijacking, which involves the owner or driver occupying the vehicle at the time.

There has been a recent spike in the number of hijacking incidents in the Dublin-Wicklow region, with eight separate incidents in one month between May and June.

Earlier this month, one man died and another was arrested by gardaí when a stolen taxi collided with a pole in Dublin city.

By Dave Molloy

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