MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)) After three armed robberies involving cab drivers, Green Cab suspended its taxi services.
“We’re a family owned business. We’re very close to our employees. We're very hands-on owners and we could not live with ourselves if something happened to our drivers, our employees, or customers.” said one of Green Cab's owners John Schmidt.
The company posted on its Facebook page it pulled their cabs off the roads around 10:30 p.m. Saturday night around 10:30 p.m.
According to Madison Police, there were three armed robberies reported between early Friday morning through Saturday night. In all three incidents, cab drivers were robbed at gun point.
“We talked to the Madison Police officer who [responded]. He let us know what was going on and pretty much told us ‘Hey, it’s kind of like you guys are being targeted,’” said Schmidt, “As soon as I heard that I said okay, this is it. We need to stop right now for the safety of our drivers and for the safety of our passengers.”
Police say on Friday morning at 2:15 a.m, a cab driver was robbed after being sent to the 500 block of West Shore Drive.
Two more armed robberies happened 15 hours apart. According to police, a Green Cab driver was robbed at gunpoint around 4:45 a.m. Saturday after he was sent to 5300 Raywood Road. The other instance happened around 7:50 p.m. in the area of 30 North Mills Street. In that case, police say the driver was beaten with a gun after the robber demanded more cash.
Schmidt said cabs, and other delivery services can be an easy target because they often have cash, passengers with valuables, and it's easy for the criminals to run.
“It isn’t just the taxi cab industry being effected. It’s the food delivery, I heard some of those got robbed, and there have also been some carjackings at daycare centers. There’s been a lot going on around the city and it’s just getting out of control," said Schmidt.
Schmidt said Green Cab will reopen Monday at 6a.m. He said he's confident daytime business is secure.
After being closed for more than 30 hours he predicts the drivers will take a financial hit, but they're being supportive and understanding.
The company is working with police, and city alders to address the string of robberies. Schmidt said the company is looking at all options, including shutting down entirely.
"If we feel the risk is just not worth it, or it’s just too high, then yes we are willing to close the company down. The financial impact of Green Cab is not as important as somebody’s life,” said Schmidt.