Vineland cabbies victims of violent robberies

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Guns pointed at their faces, the thieves and demands for cash. (WPVI)

Taxi drivers in South Jersey are facing, what they call, a dangerous trend. Several say they have been held up behind the wheel - guns pointed at their faces while the thieves demand cash.

Now the drivers demand that police bring these thugs to justice.

Vineland Yellow Cabs a busy operation. For folks who can't afford a car these cabs critical to getting around this seventy square mile town.

But cabbies will tell you they are fearful. Since June 16th there have been four robberies... blood still on the upholstery of most recent victim, Ramon Vasquez.

Vasquez says, "He kept hitting from behind me in the head, right here, right here, and all over my face."

Kashmir Singh was also a victim. He tells us, "One guy had a big shot gun. He come to my driver side, he put gun on my ear, two guys sitting in the back."

These drivers and owners say recently there has been a noticeable upswing in violence in this South Jersey town they call home.

Dispatcher Edwardo Sanchez explains, "It's getting worse. In the last year we got a lot of robberies, not only for this company but for the other company. A lot of stores got robbed, home invasions. And we don't know what's going on. Things are getting worse.

Lt. Matthew Finley of Vineland Police says, "Absolutely. There's been a definite spike in violence, specifically in Cumberland County, in the last six months."

Lt. Finley says police are well aware of what's going on. It is a regional problem. He says Vineland is working with other departments to try to find and arrest the most violent in the area, but often they don't stay arrested.

Finley says, "We're putting them in jail, then leaving it up to the courts. And that's the next step that needs to be taken. People need to start addressing the courts and what's happening with these people and why are they not being kept in jail?"

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n.j. newsrobberytaxi driversVineland
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