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Rider Stole My Phone - What Can I Do?

kw9375

Member
Tuesday night, a guy requested an Uber ride, to which I accepted. When I arrived, he was there, but the ride was for his step-daughter. No big deal. They were arguing and she started putting her stuff in my truck. Then he tells me she needs to leave ASAP because she's criminally trespassing and he's going to call the cops and she'll go to jail for 5 years.

I thought to myself - oh great, what am I getting myself in to?! If I declined the ride at this point, I would've had to take her stuff out of my truck. So, we left and I just hoped she would be ok once she was removed from the situation.

She asked rudely to use my cell phone, but I declined saying I needed it for the Uber app. So then she starts changing my radio station (she's in the front seat) and talking to people on the radio like she's having a phone conversation. She was either high on drugs or schizophrenic - it was very, very bizarre.

After a few minutes, she gets angry at me and asks where I'm taking her. I show her on the Uber map where her step-dad put a hotel as a destination. She starts yelling at me saying I'm not taking her there and she thinks I'm going to kill her. I politely ask her where she would like me to take her. She keeps getting belligerent, and I know because she's high/schizophrenic, I can't be rational with her.

So we pull in to a gas station and she borrows my phone to call someone who can come pick her up. She calls 3 people and talks complete nonsense, including literally just making sounds with her mouth. They all hang up on her.

Then she says she needs to get a phone number on a piece of paper from her bag in the backseat to call her friend to come get her. I knew then it may be the last time I may see my phone. So I keep an eye on her, also not knowing what she's going to get out of her bag.

It's at this point I wish I had a concealed license to carry. She takes a while back there and keeps peeking at me while she's whispering to someone who is not there. When she gets her bag out, I finally turn my truck off and walk back around the truck to where she is and politely ask for my phone. She gets very angry at me and denies having my phone. As she grabs her stuff and walks to the corner of the gas station, I ask her 2 more times for my phone. She aggressively tells me to go get in my truck and leave. I didn't know if she was about to attack me or if she had a gun or knife in her bag or what, so I locked my doors, went inside the gas station, and had them call the police.

When they arrived, she had left on foot, but we heard her yell. The cops went looking for her and I went back inside the gas station. Several minutes later, I see her starting to come through the doors, so I quickly went to the back of the store and stood in the office. I watched on the security cameras there and saw her leave. Not 10 seconds later, a guy paying for stuff ran out the front door because the lady had tried to drive off with his car. She got out and a few minutes later came back in the store and was headed straight back for where I was. Just as she was turning in to the office where I was, the cops came barging in. She tried to run in to the women's restroom but was tackled by the cops, handcuffed, and taken to their car.

In the end...the cops took her to the county mental health hospital, and would be taking her to jail once released from there. They patted her down but could not find my phone. We tried to call it when she was sitting in the police car, but it went straight to voicemail, so she must have turned it off. Later, I saw on my wife's phone where she could see the last place the phone was (Uber tracking feature) when the Uber app was shutdown...so I drove back there with a flashlight and looked around but couldn't find it. I have a meeting on Monday morning with the detective to get my statement and the value of the phone, so they can press charges against her. I reported the incident to Uber, but they are completely useless and just said I should continue working with law enforcement.

However - wouldn't theft be covered under the Uber insurance policy??

I'm stuck with having to pay a $299 deductible for a theft claim with Asurion (through AT&T). Also, I'm a little nervous to drive for Uber again, and my wife pretty much insists I don't...so there goes that income.

It seems like there should more I could do - any ideas??
 
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touberornottouber

Well-Known Member
I'm sorry this happened to you and I hope you aren't upset at me doing this but let this be a lesson to other drivers:

You MUST be willing to say "NO" to the passenger or sooner or later you will be sorry! You should have drove off and canceled right when you saw them arguing or even when you saw all the stuff they wanted you to move.

When she started yelling at you (and arguably when she showed signs of being in a bad state of mind) you should have pulled over somewhere safe and insisted the trip was over. Then you should have called the police and told them you had to eject someone from your vehicle who was not of sound mind so they could come check on her.

When she asked for your phone the answer should have been "NO!" always, no matter what. Especially with someone in that condition.

Truth be told you are lucky you weren't injured or even killed. She very well could have had a knife or gun and just started trying to kill you at any moment! In that state she could have did anything.

Again, this isn't to chastize you. It is for other drivers. I've been robbed twice myself as a taxi driver (I drove taxi from 2006 - 2016, then switched to rideshare) and both times it was preventable if I had better awareness/security (but this is another story for another time).

And for the people who think this is a skillless and easy job, well, here you go! It's not. In fact being a taxi driver is more dangerous than being a police officer. And that is basically what you are when you do rideshare.
 
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RideshareUSA

Well-Known Member
Tuesday night, a guy requested an Uber ride, to which I accepted. When I arrived, he was there, but the ride was for his step-daughter. No big deal. They were arguing and she started putting her stuff in my truck. Then he tells me she needs to leave ASAP because she's criminally trespassing and he's going to call the cops and she'll go to jail for 5 years. I thought to myself - oh great, what am I getting myself in to?! If I declined the ride at this point, I would've had to take her stuff out of my truck. So, we left and I just hoped she would be ok once she was removed from the situation. She asked rudely to use my cell phone, but I declined saying I needed it for the Uber app. So then she starts changing my radio station (she's in the front seat) and talking to people on the radio like she's having a phone conversation. She was either high on drugs or schizophrenic - it was very, very bizarre. After a few minutes, she gets angry at me and asks where I'm taking her. I show her on the Uber map where her step-dad put a hotel as a destination. She starts yelling at me saying I'm not taking her there and she thinks I'm going to kill her. I politely ask her where she would like me to take her. She keeps getting belligerent, and I know because she's high/schizophrenic, I can't be rational with her. So we pull in to a gas station and she borrows my phone to call someone who can come pick her up. She calls 3 people and talks complete nonsense, including literally just making sounds with her mouth. They all hang up on her. Then she says she needs to get a phone number on a piece of paper from her bag in the backseat to call her friend to come get her. I knew then it may be the last time I may see my phone. So I keep an eye on her, also not knowing what she's going to get out of her bag. It's at this point I wish I had a concealed license to carry. She takes a while back there and keeps peeking at me while she's whispering to someone who is not there. When she gets her bag out, I finally turn my truck off and walk back around the truck to where she is and politely ask for my phone. She gets very angry at me and denies having my phone. As she grabs her stuff and walks to the corner of the gas station, I ask her 2 more times for my phone. She aggressively tells me to go get in my truck and leave. I didn't know if she was about to attack me or if she had a gun or knife in her bag or what, so I locked my doors, went inside the gas station, and had them call the police. When they arrived, she had left on foot, but we heard her yell. The cops went looking for her and I went back inside the gas station. Several minutes later, I see her starting to come through the doors, so I quickly went to the back of the store and stood in the office. I watched on the security cameras there and saw her leave. Not 10 seconds later, a guy paying for stuff ran out the front door because the lady had tried to drive off with his car. She got out and a few minutes later came back in the store and was headed straight back for where I was. Just as she was turning in to the office where I was, the cops came barging in. She tried to run in to the women's restroom but was tackled by the cops, handcuffed, and taken to their car.
In the end...the cops took her to the county mental health hospital, and would be taking her to jail once released from there. They patted her down but could not find my phone. We tried to call it when she was sitting in the police car, but it went straight to voicemail, so she must have turned it off. Later, I saw on my wife's phone where she could see the last place the phone was (Uber tracking feature) when the Uber app was shutdown...so I drove back there with a flashlight and looked around but couldn't find it. I have a meeting on Monday morning with the detective to get my statement and the value of the phone, so they can press charges against her. I reported the incident to Uber, but they are completely useless and just said I should continue working with law enforcement.
However - wouldn't theft be covered under the Uber insurance policy??
I'm stuck with having to pay a $299 deductible for a theft claim with Asurion (through AT&T). Also, I'm a little nervous to drive for Uber again, and my wife pretty much insists I don't...so there goes that income.
It seems like there should more I could do - any ideas??
If you do drive again:
1) front seat off limits to all
2) any pax behavior that is concerning/distracting/threatening, end the ride immediately.
3) and of course, never let a pax use your phone (as if I had to mention that)
 

kw9375

Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
I can appreciate where you are coming from. However, I also know how easy to is to tell someone else what they should have or shouldn't have done. You have no idea what you would have done had you been in this situation. Obviously, I can look back and realize what I should have done differently. So, I'm not upset at you for what you've said, and I agree with you. It's just a lot easier to critique someone else's experience than it is to actually go through it. You know what I mean, having been robbed twice. Sorry to hear about that.

I really wanted to just drive away before she got in my truck, but she had already put a duffle bag and a small box in my backseat. Should I have driven off with her stuff? Where? How would I get it back to her? Maybe drive it to the police station?
Also,my mind was racing once she made it clear she was high/schizophrenic, trying to figure out how to get out of the situation. But also knowing she was angry and belligerent, had I tried to force her to exit my truck, things could have escalated much faster and more violently. So I was trying to be smart and think of a way to remove myself from the situation without further escalating things worse.
Post automatically merged:

If you do drive again:
1) front seat off limits to all
2) any pax behavior that is concerning/distracting/threatening, end the ride immediately.
3) and of course, never let a pax use your phone (as if I had to mention that)
1) Honestly, I'd rather them be in the front seat where I can see them better. Know what I mean?
2) How do you end a ride without increasing the chances of it escalating even worse if the pax is already angry and aggressive towards you?
3) Yes, I agree. :-)
 

touberornottouber

Well-Known Member
I can appreciate where you are coming from. However, I also know how easy to is to tell someone else what they should have or shouldn't have done. You have no idea what you would have done had you been in this situation. Obviously, I can look back and realize what I should have done differently. So, I'm not upset at you for what you've said, and I agree with you. It's just a lot easier to critique someone else's experience than it is to actually go through it. You know what I mean, having been robbed twice. Sorry to hear about that.

I really wanted to just drive away before she got in my truck, but she had already put a duffle bag and a small box in my backseat. Should I have driven off with her stuff? Where? How would I get it back to her? Maybe drive it to the police station?
Also,my mind was racing once she made it clear she was high/schizophrenic, trying to figure out how to get out of the situation. But also knowing she was angry and belligerent, had I tried to force her to exit my truck, things could have escalated much faster and more violently. So I was trying to be smart and think of a way to remove myself from the situation without further escalating things worse.

Yeah, I know. I've lived it and have been there in all sorts of other crazy similar situations. Believe me. What I'm saying is that being polite or meek when doing this could ultimately get you killed.

It takes a while to learn that when doing the vehicle for hire thing. Basically being a selfish jerk is what you have to be for self preservation. If that meant canceling the ride, locking your doors, and moving her stuff to the curb then that is what you had to do. It's your ass out there.

For example my first robbery in 2007 was two punk kids with knives. My mistake was not questioning which address they ordered the ride from and just letting them get in (taxi). They were also doing the "look around" thing to see who was watching. (they weren't the people who ordered the taxi, it was a crime of opportunity -- rookie mistake!) I got a slash on my face for it and the scar is still there. Second robbery was a man with a gun. He gave me a bad address which I would have recognized if I weren't somewhat new. He was also very nervous.

We live and learn from our mistakes. Some of us learn by blood (I did). Other times we learn by loss (as you did). My intent in saying this is not to rag on you, rather I am hoping others out here can learn from our experiences so they don't have to learn by either blood or loss. Good luck to you, sir.
 

RideshareUSA

Well-Known Member
I can appreciate where you are coming from. However, I also know how easy to is to tell someone else what they should have or shouldn't have done. You have no idea what you would have done had you been in this situation. Obviously, I can look back and realize what I should have done differently. So, I'm not upset at you for what you've said, and I agree with you. It's just a lot easier to critique someone else's experience than it is to actually go through it. You know what I mean, having been robbed twice. Sorry to hear about that.

I really wanted to just drive away before she got in my truck, but she had already put a duffle bag and a small box in my backseat. Should I have driven off with her stuff? Where? How would I get it back to her? Maybe drive it to the police station?
Also,my mind was racing once she made it clear she was high/schizophrenic, trying to figure out how to get out of the situation. But also knowing she was angry and belligerent, had I tried to force her to exit my truck, things could have escalated much faster and more violently. So I was trying to be smart and think of a way to remove myself from the situation without further escalating things worse.
Post automatically merged:


1) Honestly, I'd rather them be in the front seat where I can see them better. Know what I mean?
2) How do you end a ride without increasing the chances of it escalating even worse if the pax is already angry and aggressive towards you?
3) Yes, I agree. :-)
I speak from experience (over 8000 rides).
Yes, you can end the ride at any point, even before it begins. Yes, you could've asked her to remove her property, if not, then you do it. I have been in your position before, both as a rookie and a veteran LOL. YOU are always in control and have the power/authority to end any ride at anytime when circumstances involving your safety and/or comfort are compromised. This is training that Uber of course should, but will never provide because drivers are disposable and replaceable in their business model.
 

touberornottouber

Well-Known Member
2) How do you end a ride without increasing the chances of it escalating even worse if the pax is already angry and aggressive towards you?
Minimize contact. Preferably no contact. If you pull up and see a bunch of boxes and the riders arguing you keep the doors locked, drive right on by and cancel without making eye contact!

If you already stopped and talked to them you just cancel the ride and drive off. Or I guess optionally you could say "OH, they pulled me off the ride. It looks like they gave you another driver!"

If they have their stuff in the car, well, that isn't going to be clean but I learned you are safer forcing the confrontation then and there rather than risking it later when you are driving and are a big target. Again, what if she had a gun or knife and she went nuts on you while you were driving? You would have been better off forcing that confrontation before it even started and just saying "I'm not doing this ride!" in a matter of fact way. It would have been far less of a risk than having a crazy person in your car.

Again, nothing personal. It took me YEARS to learn this. I'm a nice guy by default and it was hard for me to learn that sometimes I gotta be a jerk.
 

RideshareUSA

Well-Known Member
I can appreciate where you are coming from. However, I also know how easy to is to tell someone else what they should have or shouldn't have done. You have no idea what you would have done had you been in this situation. Obviously, I can look back and realize what I should have done differently. So, I'm not upset at you for what you've said, and I agree with you. It's just a lot easier to critique someone else's experience than it is to actually go through it. You know what I mean, having been robbed twice. Sorry to hear about that.

I really wanted to just drive away before she got in my truck, but she had already put a duffle bag and a small box in my backseat. Should I have driven off with her stuff? Where? How would I get it back to her? Maybe drive it to the police station?
Also,my mind was racing once she made it clear she was high/schizophrenic, trying to figure out how to get out of the situation. But also knowing she was angry and belligerent, had I tried to force her to exit my truck, things could have escalated much faster and more violently. So I was trying to be smart and think of a way to remove myself from the situation without further escalating things worse.
Post automatically merged:


1) Honestly, I'd rather them be in the front seat where I can see them better. Know what I mean?
2) How do you end a ride without increasing the chances of it escalating even worse if the pax is already angry and aggressive towards you?
3) Yes, I agree. :-)
If the situation escalates, remove yourself ASAP and call 911. What else can I tell you?
Post automatically merged:

Yeah, I know. I've lived it and have been there in all sorts of other crazy similar situations. Believe me. What I'm saying is that being polite or meek when doing this could ultimately get you killed.

It takes a while to learn that when doing the vehicle for hire thing. Basically being a selfish jerk is what you have to be for self preservation. If that meant canceling the ride, locking your doors, and moving her stuff to the curb then that is what you had to do. It's your ass out there.

For example my first robbery in 2007 was two punk kids with knives. My mistake was not questioning which address they ordered the ride from and just letting them get in (taxi). They were also doing the "look around" thing to see who was watching. (they weren't the people who ordered the taxi, it was a crime of opportunity -- rookie mistake!) I got a slash on my face for it and the scar is still there. Second robbery was a man with a gun. He gave me a bad address which I would have recognized if I weren't somewhat new. He was also very nervous.

We live and learn from our mistakes. Some of us learn by blood (I did). Other times we learn by loss (as you did). My intent in saying this is not to rag on you, rather I am hoping others out here can learn from our experiences so they don't have to learn by either blood or loss. Good luck to you, sir.
Very sorry to hear about you being victimized. Thankfully, your still here.
Post automatically merged:

I can appreciate where you are coming from. However, I also know how easy to is to tell someone else what they should have or shouldn't have done. You have no idea what you would have done had you been in this situation. Obviously, I can look back and realize what I should have done differently. So, I'm not upset at you for what you've said, and I agree with you. It's just a lot easier to critique someone else's experience than it is to actually go through it. You know what I mean, having been robbed twice. Sorry to hear about that.

I really wanted to just drive away before she got in my truck, but she had already put a duffle bag and a small box in my backseat. Should I have driven off with her stuff? Where? How would I get it back to her? Maybe drive it to the police station?
Also,my mind was racing once she made it clear she was high/schizophrenic, trying to figure out how to get out of the situation. But also knowing she was angry and belligerent, had I tried to force her to exit my truck, things could have escalated much faster and more violently. So I was trying to be smart and think of a way to remove myself from the situation without further escalating things worse.
Post automatically merged:


1) Honestly, I'd rather them be in the front seat where I can see them better. Know what I mean?
2) How do you end a ride without increasing the chances of it escalating even worse if the pax is already angry and aggressive towards you?
3) Yes, I agree. :-)
Oh, almost forgot, stop driving nights.
My shift is 5am - 5pm. No exceptions!
 

kw9375

Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
Oh, almost forgot, stop driving nights.
My shift is 5am - 5pm. No exceptions!
Well, I work another job full time, from 9am-6pm. I usually drive nights and just pick people up from work and take them home during the week. Then on Friday nights I drive from 8pm until 5am. I'm in a college town so I end up just taking college kids from bars to dorms or frat/sorrority houses. Never had a problem until I drove way out to the lake to pick this crazy lady up. I know why you're saying this though.
 

RideshareUSA

Well-Known Member
Well, I work another job full time, from 9am-6pm. I usually drive nights and just pick people up from work and take them home during the week. Then on Friday nights I drive from 8pm until 5am. I'm in a college town so I end up just taking college kids from bars to dorms or frat/sorrority houses. Never had a problem until I drove way out to the lake to pick this crazy lady up. I know why you're saying this though.
I understand. Keep in mind, you are working the hours that are the riskiest. That said, be proactive with your mindset. Pretend your a cop. Always be alert and learn to assess people and situations as quickly as possible. Be it days or nights, one skill a rideshare driver will always have to refine, is the ability to think quick and act accordingly.
 

BigRedDriver

Well-Known Member
I can appreciate where you are coming from. However, I also know how easy to is to tell someone else what they should have or shouldn't have done. You have no idea what you would have done had you been in this situation. Obviously, I can look back and realize what I should have done differently. So, I'm not upset at you for what you've said, and I agree with you. It's just a lot easier to critique someone else's experience than it is to actually go through it. You know what I mean, having been robbed twice. Sorry to hear about that.

I really wanted to just drive away before she got in my truck, but she had already put a duffle bag and a small box in my backseat. Should I have driven off with her stuff? Where? How would I get it back to her? Maybe drive it to the police station?
Also,my mind was racing once she made it clear she was high/schizophrenic, trying to figure out how to get out of the situation. But also knowing she was angry and belligerent, had I tried to force her to exit my truck, things could have escalated much faster and more violently. So I was trying to be smart and think of a way to remove myself from the situation without further escalating things worse.
Post automatically merged:


1) Honestly, I'd rather them be in the front seat where I can see them better. Know what I mean?
2) How do you end a ride without increasing the chances of it escalating even worse if the pax is already angry and aggressive towards you?
3) Yes, I agree. :-)
The father ordered the ride. He is the responsible party. The money needs to come from him as well as lost wages and inconvenience.

Oh, and a baseball bat to the head for making his problem yours.
 

Ptuberdriver

Active Member
Never give them your phone, if she was high or schyzophrenic then you should have stopped the ride called the police and let them handle her. But at no point do you try and rationalize with someone in that state of mind. It would have been less of a hassle if your first instinct was call the cops.
 

kw9375

Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
Never give them your phone, if she was high or schyzophrenic then you should have stopped the ride called the police and let them handle her. But at no point do you try and rationalize with someone in that state of mind. It would have been less of a hassle if your first instinct was call the cops.
Again, it's easy to sit at a keyboard and criticize someone else's experience. You can't be sure of how you would have handled the situation if you were suddenly and unexpectedly thrown in to it.
However...ok, so as some of you have suggested, at the first sign of trouble after we were on our way...I stop the ride. I had driven about 10 minutes out to the lake to pick her up, so are you suggesting I pull over on the side of the road where there is nothing? No gas stations, hotels, restaurants or anything? And then what? Take her bags out of the backseat and set them on the side of the road? I'm pretty sure at that point, she would've gone in to a full blown crazy attack on me.
It's good to have this dialogue though, for other drivers. I don't really need advice on what I should or shouldn't have done during the trip. I'm much more trying to think of a good way to get compensated for my loss/damages. Thanks.
 

kw9375

Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
Has anyone had experience dealing with Uber and a theft or damage claim? I'm trying to find what their insurance policy covers during a trip. I know I've seen a policy before under the "Waybill".
 

sellkatsell44

Well-Known Member
Moderator
I can appreciate where you are coming from. However, I also know how easy to is to tell someone else what they should have or shouldn't have done. You have no idea what you would have done had you been in this situation. Obviously, I can look back and realize what I should have done differently.
I can related to this so much.
 
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