My robbery.


Pick up this REALLY cute guy down the street from one of the nicer clubs in town - Aura, at about 1:30a one Saturday. He hops in front with me.

Me: Hi there. How ya doin?

He: Not so hot. I'm fighting with my girl.

Me: I'm sorry to hear that. Am I taking you home?

He: Nah. I have a couple of friends downtown ... somewhere.

Me: "Somewhere"? So you just wanna drive around and look for them? *grin*

He: Do you mind?

Me: I was just kidding. But no, I don't mind. Any ideas which area?

He: I think they're supposed to be down by Bar 71.

Me: Parking down there is at a premium, shouldn't be too hard to find 'em. Unless they're in a parking lot. Then we might be outta luck.

He: It's all right. I don't mind driving around. Just head down that way and I'll look for his car.

Me: All right.

long story short: As we were driving around we chatted about his girlfriend, his friends, basically lfie in general. The whole time I'm stealing looks at him sitting next to me 'cuz this boy is cute! I mean, young Brad Pitt kind of cute.

We pull around to a parking lot by 2nd NW Everett.

He: Hey, pull down this street! I think I see his car, right over there. He points to the right.

Me: OK, which one is it?

He: What say you just give me your money? *grin*

Me: dazzled by this boy's cute smile What say I don't!

He: glances down What say you DO.

Me: looking down and seeing a gun in his hand, pointed at me. Well shit. I'm guessing you don't see your friends car, huh?

He: You're kind of funny. I'm sorry to do this, but I need you to give me your money. I don't want to kill you.

Me: digging in my pocket Well, I'm glad to hear you don't WANT to kill me. Here ya go.

He: looking at what I gave him. This is it? $15.00?? Bullshit. Where's the rest?

Me: Hey now, I just started for the night. I haven't made anything yet. That's my change pack. It's all I have, really.

He: Bull SHIT!! I KNOW you cab drivers carry more than this on you! I've SEEN it!

Me: Not me. I deposit my money as soon as I get it ... in case I get robbed. Ya know?

He: getting a little twitchy now, looking around Give me your damned credit card!!

Me: digging again OK. Here it is. But it's a deposit only card. Just in case. *shrug*

He: getting more upset, puts the gun against my forehead You had better tell me where all your money is, and RIGHT NOW! No more jokes. No more fucking around. Where is it?!!

Me: Hey, come on now. I just started. Look, here's my log sheet, I have nothing on it.

He: grabs the log sheet from me and throws it in the back seat. DAMN IT!!

Me: Just looking at him.

He: FUCK! Don't move.

Me: not moving.

He: reaching over and opening his door. You're lucky.

Me: I feel that way. You go that way, I'll go this way, whatcha say?

He: Have a nice day!! and he hops out and runs to the left.

I turn right, going the wrong way down a one way street, very fast! I pull over 3 blocks later at the Amtrak station (it's the most well lit place around that's open, and I've gotten to know some of the security guards there pretty well). I get on the radio and tell my dispatcher what happened, he calls the p.d. while I'm on the radio, I have to give a description so they can drive around the immediate vicinity and see if they can spot the guy.

The dispatcher tells me they will be there when they're done checking the area as long as I'm in a safe place, unless I want one there right away. I'm all right where I am. I sit in my car and write down what happened, as I remembered it and drew a sketch of the guy (sketch at end of this entry).

A p.d. car shows up with 2 officers. They ask me to describe what happened. I tell them what I remembered, then described what he was wearing.

Me: Oh, and I drew a picture of him. I draw. Here.

They look at it, then at me. Then one officer looks at his partner and they start whispering behind their hands to each other.

Me: What?

Right then, one of our other drivers drove up. The dispatcher called him and asked him to drive over and check on me.

Ron: parked and got out of his car. Are you OK?

Me: started BAWLING!!! big, ol' ugly tears. Not pretty.

He put his arms around me and I just lost it. (Poor guy just started 2 days before this :o)

The officers walk off and talk for a minute, then come back after I've calmed down a bit.

Me: All right, what were you guys whispering about?

Well, turns out that someone that matches this guys description, EXACTLY, killed 2 people at the bar close to where I picked him up at, just a week before that. Just walked into the bar and started shooting.

Me: *blink* Ummm .... *blink* Are you shitting me?

True Story. I freaked. Had to go home. Ron followed me all the way to make sure I made it ok.

Next morning, at about 7a, I get a call from an officer downtown saying they had a young man in custody that looked like my sketch and they wanted me to come down in the afternoon and do a line up at about noon.

At about 11a I get a call from the detective in charge of the case. He says I can't come down and do a line up because they would rather I did a police sketch artist first. I was a good artist and all, but they couldn't use my sketch. Had to be someone that could go to court and testify.

Fine. He gave me the number of the sketch artist detective and asked that I call her. I did. Set up an appt for later that afternoon.

I went in about 2p and met with her. She was really cool, and -understandably- incredibly calm. All she asked was that I describe to her what had happened, then what he was wearing. She took notes. Explained that what she did was take notes, I would come back in another day or two and she would have a picture for me to look at and we could refine it from there. I asked about the guy in custody, she said they had to let him go, he wasn't the guy. Apparently he was in jail at the time I got arrested.

After I finished up with her I took my sketch down to Kinkos and made a hundred copies. I took them to the 2 largest cab companies here and told them what happened and to pass out the pictures. Turns out I was too late. This same guy (according to other driver) robbed him at gun point at about 2p that day. AND THEN he robbed a cab driver from the other largest company in town about 18 hours after that one, and this time he had another guy with him. Everyone was speculating that he was starting a career.

I went back to the detective 2 days later, we refined the sketch and talked a bit. When we finished she pulled out the sketch that I drew. It was pretty close. She said she hadn't looked at it because she couldn't be influenced by what I had drawn. I gotta tell ya, I was INCREDIBLY impressed with her being able to draw just from what I had described. I can draw just about anything, but there's no way I could do what she does, it really was amazing.

We finished, she said she would give it to the detective in charge and they would call me when they knew something.

I called back 2 days after that, they still hadn't caught the guy. And I never heard from them again.

Interestingly enough, this never made the news, although everyone (at least the cabbies) was talking about it, and spread the word. Almost all of my sketch copies were in cabs for quite some time after that.

One good thing did come out of this. A year before I got robbed, the city cab commission had doubled the rate of our cab licenses because they said they were going to put cameras in our cabs but hadn't gotten around to finding a night-compatible camera that would work. (Hell, if they can base an entire series on HBO with those things you'd think they could find something that would work.) But not long after this happened to me they had a meeting and decided they had to find some. Now it's mandatory to have working cameras in our cabs.

As it stands, I have the dubious honor of being the only female cab driver in Ptld to get robbed at gun point.

This happened August of 2004, and only 1.5 weeks after I bought my cab. We had approximately 45 women (of a total of about 1,200) cabbies in Portland when this happened. Now we have less than 15, and - near as I can tell - only 4 of them drive nights.


"Don't air our business in front of the CAB DRIVER FOR CRISSAKES! Just pay her before the neighbors see her out there!"

Got dispatched to a call to pick up this fairly young looking man late Saturday/early Sunday and took him from the east side o' the river to the west in Lake Oswego. It was about a 20 minute ride and we chatted about all kinds of things on the way. Pretty amusing conversationalist.

He: OK. Hold on a second. I have to go in the house to get my money.

Me: Ah. You aren't going to pay me are you?

He: WHAT? Of course I am. Why do you say that?

Me: Because every time I get someone to where they're going and they say 'I have to go in the house to get my money' something always happens and somehow they don't have it.

He: Man. It must suck to have your job. So many flakes out there. NO. I'm straight up. I'll be right back ... with cash. I promise.

Me: mmmm hm. I'll wait right here. You have 3 minutes then I'm calling the cops. Just so you know. *grin*

He: Wow. So untrusting. That's sad.

Me: What's sad is that so far I'm batting a thousand with this particular situation. It would be nice if the city would allow us to ask if a body actually HAS the money when they get in the car to pay for their fare, but they won't let us. They say that everyone KNOWS when they get in a cab that they are paying for a service and we call the police if you don't pay. One of the many reasons why they put cameras in our cabs. So. See you in ... 3 minutes ... right?! *grin*

He: Of course you will. I'm not one of those people that swindle people out of their money. I have a business I run. You can trust me. I'll be right back.

I wait for a few minutes. I call my dispatcher on the phone and tell him the situation and the address of where I am, just in case, and am still talking to him when the young man comes back out of the house and gets in the car.

He: I am so sorry, but my sister took my money.

Me: just staring at him

He: Really. She does this all the time. She knows where I keep my money and goes in there and gets it sometimes.

Me: Ah. And I thought you were going to surprise me here and do the right thing. Can't you go wake her and get your money?

He: No. She went out.

Dispatcher: You want me to call the police now? in my earpiece

Me: No, not yet. Let me see if he has some other form of payment.

He: You take cards right?

Me: Yup. As long as it's good.

He: Of course it's good. Um. It won't clear until Monday right?

Me: No. It's going to clear before I leave your house.

He: Well. Um. It won't be good until Monday.

Me: Not good enough. OK J, call the police. to the dispatcher

He: Wait a minute here. Really. I am being straight with you here. If you let me go until Monday I'll tip you large to wait. I'm not kidding. This is the account I run my business out of. I'm being honest here. etc etc about the sister.

Disp: Well, whaddaya think? You gonna do it?

Me: All right. But only so you know, if this isn't good by Monday I'm calling the police to come here, to your house and arrest you.

He: No problem. You won't have to do that. I promise. It'll be good.

Me: Don't promise me. We tried that. yup. you get jaded driving a cab.

He: Wow, thank you soooo much etc etc

Disp: I can't believe you're going to do this.

Me: I know. Gawd. I'll call you back.

So the kid gets out of the car. I head on my way. Call the disp. back and we chat until I have to go do something else.

Monday comes, card is no good by late in the afternoon. I call the kids cell phone.

Me: Hey Brooke?

He: Yeah. Who's this?

Me: This is your cab driver from last night. Your card isn't good.

He: Hey. What?? No way. I JUST used it. Can you run it again?

Me: Nope. It's been ran 2X. No good. What are you going to do about it?

He: I'll get cash. I'm going to be out of town tonight with my folks, can I hook up with you first thing in the morning when we get back and I'll give you the cash. I'm really sorry.

Me: I won't be around during the day, but the guy that drives my car will be downtown all day tomorrow, how about you hook up with him and give it to him to give me.

We work out the particulars, etc etc.

Tues: Card is still no good, he never contacted my driver and now isn't answering his phone. Go figure.

Me: I call his vm and leave a message. Hey. This is your cab driver. I just wanted to give you one last chance before I call the police. It's 6p now. I'm heading over to your house and will call them from there. Just letting you know.

He calls me back about 5 minutes later.

He: Hey. Sorry, I was on the other line. I'll be here. At home, when you show. I'm really sorry about that. I'll see you in about 1/2 hr right?

Me: Probably closer to an hour. But I'll be there.

I drive over there. Knock on the door. His Dad answers the door.

Me: Hi. Is Stephen around?

Dad: No. He just took off. and just gives me that look like 'what do you want?'

Me: My name is ... and I tell him the whole story.

He has a cell phone in his hand, picks it up and calls his wife.

Dad: Hello. It's me. I have a young lady here says she's a cab driver and that Stephen gave her a bad credit card after telling her some bullshit story about his fake sister taking his money.

Mom: I can hear her over his phone. AGAIN????!! God DAMN it!!

Dad: This has got to stop Patty.

Mom: Don't air our business in front of the CAB DRIVER FOR CRISSAKES!! Just pay her before the neighbors see her out there!! This is a pretty affluent neighborhood.

Me: *smiling*

Dad: Patty, we ...

Mom: PAY HER DAMN IT! I'LL DEAL WITH IT WHEN I GET HOME. and she hangs up on him.

Me: I'm really sorry, I hate doing this kind of stuff. I told him I was going to call the police, so he had plenty of warning. Sorry to disturb your night like this.

Dad: It's not you. I'm sorry he did this, again. Damn kid needs to learn some damned sense. He's been doing this for years. He's 32 years old. We just married 4 years ago and I've been having problems with him ever since.

Me: Really? Wow. He didn't look that old.

Dad: That's why his mom lets him get away with it. Anyway. I don't have that kind of cash on me. Will you take a credit card?

Me: Well ...

Dad: Dont' worry. MY card is good.

Me: Ok. I need to run it in the car.

We take care of business.

Dad: I'm really sorry you had to deal with this.

Me: Ya know, I could always give you your card back and I could call the police anyway. It sounds like he needs a little ... help.

Dad: You know what? If I hadn't already told his mother I'd pay you then I probably would. Thank you. You seem like a nice enough woman, might I suggest you think about another line of work?

Me: Thank you for that. I'm not that nice. *grin* You seem like a nice enough gentleman, might I suggest some family counseling to get rid of the 'adult child that is still living at home and sponging off the family?'

Dad: Touche. Good evening.

Me: You too.


"I need to know your # in case I can't find anyone better to fuck tonight."

I pick up these 2 young, fairly respectable looking men from Mary's, a tiny little strip joint downtown that - for whatever reason - seems to be where everyone has to go when they come to Ptld. Rumor has it the women have been working there since it opened ... in the 70's. I've only been in there once. Scared the bejesus outta me! They both jump in back, it's 2:30a.

Little Punk1: Hey baby. We're going to the Doug Fir. Here's my credit card. He throws it in my general direction. You know where that is?

Me: Yup.

We start heading around the block, if you've never been, downtown Ptld is all one way streets, as the Doug Fir is just across the Burnside bridge ... a total of 15 blocks across the bridge: 7 blocks this side, 8 the other.

LP1: Hey baby, do you mind if I jump up front with you here? He asks, by the time he says "mind" he is already in the front seat, and we've only gone 3 blocks. Thanks babe. How you doin' tonight?

Me: I'm ...

LP1: OH SHIT!! Pull over!! Quick!! I know these girls!! I pull over next to 2 young ladies walking up the street. Hey girls! How you doing tonight? They step up to the car. I need some help if you would, please?

Girl1: Hi there! You're cute. giggle What can we do for you?

LP1: I need to know your number so I can call you if I can't find someone better to fuck tonight.

Me: blink

G1: WHAT did you say?

LP1: What I SAID was that if I can NOT find any better pussy tonight then I would like to have you as back up to suck. my. dick. Did you understand THAT?

Me: eyeroll and blink

G1: who, incidentally, hasn't walked off yet Ummmm. I don't think so. and then she giggles to her friend. I wanna slap 'em both. Hell, all 3 of them.

LP1: Well. What do you think of THIS? And the shithead picks his narrow ass up off the seat, unzips his pants and shows his dick to the girls out the window. You want this. Right?

G1: I don't THINK so. and NOW they walk off.

LP1: sits back down in the seat, w/out zipping up then So Cabbie, what do YOU think?

Me: I think you should zip up before you embarrass yourself.

LP2: Hell. He does this all the time. He doesn't embarrass.

We get stuck at a light.

LP1: Looks at me Well. Really? What do you think?

Me: I think it must be cold in here. Let me roll up the window for you Junior.

LP2: laughing hysterically She's got YOUR number man!

LP1: narrows his eyes No. Really. Tell me what you think.

Me: I THINK you should zip up your pants before I have to charge you extra for an obscenity charge.

LP1: You wouldn't do that. Here. Touch it. and the little bastard actually tried to grab my hand!!

Me: Hey now!! Don't touch the driver. What's wrong with you?!!

LP1: No really. It gets bigger if you touch it. Look. and he tried AGAIN to touch me.

Me: snatching my hand away. Really. Don't. Touch. Me.

LP1: Shit. You're gonna charge me extra for an "obscenity charge" huh? How much?

Me: What sounds fair? Fifty bucks?

Lp1: Shit. You could charge me that every day for the rest of your life and never get all my money. My daddy is rich.

Me: Whatever. Just don't touch me again.

LP1: Really. My daddy is rich.

Me: I. don't. care. Just don't touch me again or your rich daddy is gonna hafta come bail your stupid, drunk ass outta jail. GOT. IT.?

LP2: Man. Remember what your dad said about if this happened again?

LP1: She won't call the cops on me. She can't prove anything anyway.

Me: What do you think we got cameras in these cars for, Junior?

LP1: STOP CALLING ME 'JUNIOR', DAMN IT! then looking at the camera. Well. I won't pay you. You can't make me.

Me: Then I WILL have y0u arrested, JUNIOR. Besides, you already gave me your credit card. We only have 2 blocks to go. Just shut the hell up and zip up your pants. You're pathetic.

He zips up and doesn't say anything until we get there. I pull over, run his card, and put in the 'description' "Cab Fare and Obscenity Charge". He gets out of the car and grabs the clipboard from me through the window to sign his card copy. Then he throws the clipboard at me and walks off.

LP2: I'm really sorry about my friend. He gets stupid every time we get drunk and in a cab. I think he was just worse tonight because you're a woman.

Me: Yeah. Whatever. You might want to rethink your friendship.

A couple of people walk up and get into the cab so he walks off. They as me what happened, why that guy threw the clipboard at me. I tell them and we laugh the whole way to their house.

I call my bf and tell him the story. He laughs, then says "You shoulda stun gunned him in the balls! I bet THAT would have gotten his attention."