CALEXICO, Calif. - Calexico Police, working undercover, arrested a taxi cab driver on Wednesday morning.
Police Officer Shaun Dahl said, “We got information that that cab driver is unregistered with the city and he’s picking up patrons, customers, in downtown area.”
Police said it puts the public at risk.
“Unlicensed cab drivers do not have the proper insurance. If there’s a crash, and the insurance company finds out that the cab driver was operating a business, it’s very likely that that insurance company will not cover that loss,” Dahl said.
The police department set up an undercover operation.
“Undercover officer telephoned the driver of the cab,” Dahl explained.
The officer was picked up near the One-Stop Department on Third Street and taken to a local coffee shop. He paid with a $20 dollar marked bill. Police waited for them near the coffee shop.
“The cab driver drops him off and the officers pull him over. The cab driver actually asked the officer to lie and say that he got picked up at the new port,” Dahl said.
Police make the arrest. Dahl said the cab driver was very disappointed when the passenger, whom he later found out was an undercover officer, didn’t lie to help him out.
Calexico Economic Commissioner Ben Horton said illegal taxis hurt the city.
“In reference to sales taxes, they’re working an illegal business that’s not even licensed in the city. The city is losing needed revenue that can go into the general fund,” Horton said.
The cab driver faces up to a year in jail, plus fines.
“Our main focus is public safety. We want to make sure that if there’s a crash, then everybody is covered,” Dahl said, adding that the sting operations will continue.