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Uber driver has car stolen by passenger in New Orleans East

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 10:33 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A local Uber driver says his own passengers stole his car as he tried to drop them off over the weekend.

The driver says he was able to track down his vehicle after it was stolen from him Saturday afternoon on Lafon Drive off of Dwyer Road.

“I’m just watching my livelihood go down the street and thinking that I was going to get some type of help, you know, calling 911 and nobody came,” he said.

Like so many that drive Uber and Lyft, this driver depends on it.

Saturday afternoon was like any other for him.

“I picked up at a really nice hotel downtown figured I was picking up some tourists,” he said.

He says the group of around six people claimed they were going to an Airbnb in New Orleans East and had him drop off one of the passengers and her child before stopping on Lafon Drive for the rest of them.

“I got out to go help them with the bags out the back of the trunk,” he said. “I turned around and they took off in the car. So, I called 911 immediately and they answered the phone. They were real nice. They said a cop was gonna come out immediately. They never came out.”

Neighbors said they’ve never seen the group before. The driver believes he was set up.

“Sounds like kind of like something that they rehearsed, something like maybe they did this before, I don’t know,” he said.

He was able to capture some of them on his dashcam and tried to track his phone, only to find it was chucked out the window.

The next day he drove around the same area and for a moment he thought his luck had changed. He saw his van driving around.

“I called 911 immediately and said ‘hey, I’m driving behind my own van that got stolen from me yesterday. Can somebody please come help me?’”

He says they told him to pull over and wait for an officer who never came.

So the driver headed home once again, turning to Facebook for help. The next morning a social media sleuth had his answer.

It was dumped in the same area it was stolen from, torn up and undriveable.

“It looks like they tampered with my gas tank and that’s the big worry,” he said.

He says an officer came out and was able to lift some prints.

“I was so glad to finally see a cop,” he said.

That along with his dash cam footage, surveillance from the hotel he picked them up from as well as the information tied Uber account makes him feel like justice will be swift. He just wants to make sure other drivers are aware.

“At least I got it back,” he said. “It is what it is and I just hope it don’t happen to nobody else.”

NOPD has not responded to a request for comment.

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