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New robbery tack weakens taxi passengers with drugs

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MANILA, Philippines — The Eastern Police District (EPD) has once again reminded people to be careful when riding taxi cabs, after police arrested and charged a taxi driver who allegedly tried to drug a passenger in an attempt to rob her earlier this week.

Dominador Obsenarez, a 38-year-old taxi driver of Tricon Taxi, was charged with attempted robbery after barangay watchmen arrested him on Thursday night while appearing to hold back a passenger from leaving his cab.

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Investigation showed that the victim, identified as Micah Crystel Sual, an 18-year-old student and resident of Aduana Metropolis, Barangay Sta. Lucia, Pasig City, was inside Obsenarez’s taxi (TWJ 743) when the alleged robbery attempt happened at around 6:45 p.m. on Thursday.

Sual told the police that the taxi was traveling along Amang Rodriguez Avenue near the corner of East Bank Road when she noticed a strange smell in the cab.

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A few minutes later, she felt dizzy and numb, and asked the taxi driver to pull over to the side of the road. However, instead of stopping, Obsenarez pulled back Sual as she tried to get out of the taxi.

Police reports indicated that at this point, barangay watchmen out on patrol saw what was happening, rushed to the scene, and arrested Obsenarez, while also taking the victim to the Pasig Police Station.

Seized from the suspect were two face towels and a bottle of mineral water with a substance in it. The EPD said that its crime laboratory has submitted the seized items for chemical testing.

Following the incident, the EPD reiterated warnings issued by the Philippine National Police earlier to the public to help them avoid such schemes.

The advice from the police include riding at the backseat and keeping distance from the driver, sending a friend or family member the plate number of the taxi and the name of the driver, insisting that the taxi driver take a familiar route to the destination, and checking that no one else is inside the cab when boarding.

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TAGS: Drugs, Eastern Police District, Metro, News, robbery, taxi cabs
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