WTF?! Being an Uber driver can offer a variety of experiences, but unwittingly becoming a getaway driver isn’t usually one of them. Yet that’s the situation one newbie found himself in earlier this year when he helped a gas station robber escape the scene of a crime.
As reported by The Drive, Albuquerque resident and new Uber driver Terry Owens received a pickup request back in February from a local gas station. He accepted—something Owens probably later regretted—and picked up an Austen Harris.
When Harris entered the vehicle, Owens noticed he was “acting kind of weird” and holding a pair of scissors, which he claimed were being used to cut strings off his jacket. In reality, they had been used as a weapon to hold up the store.
After dropping off Harris, who was the last fare of Sunday night, Owens went home. An hour later, police surrounded the Uber worker’s house and demanded he and his family leave with their hands up.
Owens explained to the police what had happened and how he was an innocent party. As Uber has plenty of data on its passengers, including their journeys, names, and other details, it wasn’t difficult for law enforcement agents to track down Harris and arrested him.
Harris, who has an arrest record, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to drug rehab.
While the convenience of ride-sharing apps has changed the transport industry, using the likes of Uber as getaway vehicles isn’t the best idea for criminals trying to avoid capture.