Archive for the Law Enforcement Category

A Cab Drivers Voice

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Random Info, Touching Stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by HackingVegas

I recently wrote a post titled “F The B”  that struck a chord with me. It got me thinking about my industry and made me angry. I have my wife proof all my posts and when she finished “F That B” she asked me something I haven’t thought about in a while.

Wife: please tell me you reported this?
Me: I wish I could’ve but it goes no where.
Wife: what are you talking about, why wouldn’t it go anywhere?
Me: trust me, been here done that, I’m over it.

This conversation really made me think and it made me mad. I’m not this kind of person. I’m the kind of person that calls in every drunk driver, stops at most traffic accidents where help is not already there (I use to work in the medical field and try to help when I can), and help people in need within reason. So why have I changed my ways? Why is, “It’s a waste of time”, my first thought? I started thinking and I think I figured it out.

I remember the first time I reached out to try to help someone who was in need after I had started to drive a cab. It was about three months after I started and I had picked up a single male from the airport who was going to the Stratosphere Hotel. On the way there I started in on my normal chit chat. He was in from Kentucky and said he was wanting to find his friends while he was in town. I asked where they were staying and got an answer I never in a million years expected, “They’re dead”. A calm silence filled the car. I had no clue what to say. I’m a trained critical incident counselor and found myself speechless. So I did the one thing I could think of. I listened.

He started telling me about his plan while in Vegas and how he had even told people at home. He said they just laughed it off and told him,”you need this break so enjoy your time out there”. The details started pouring out. He came to town with a backpack that was full of every dollar to his name. He booked a room at the hotel for a week and after checking in, he was going to hit the tables. He was going to play the tables until he had nothing but $100 left. When he got down to his “goal” he planned to eat a “nice meal” and go find his friends. I asked how he planned to find his friends and he came back with a detailed explanation.

First I plan to rig a rope to the ceiling of the room. I then plan to dangle there until I see them. But if the ceiling is too low, I will find a way to fly off the tower. One way or another I will find them and life will go on.

Once again I didn’t know what to say. I started with the basics and I asked if he had thought about getting help from the VA. He said he doesn’t want their help and that he believed that they are the reason he feels this way. They took his friends so why would they want to help him. I then asked if I could take him to a place that was not a part of the military to try and get him some help. He refused.  I took the last few minutes to try to talk him down but had no response.  I was wishing that I could just take him to the hospital or somewhere for help, but as a driver it is against the law for me to take a fare anywhere other than where they want to go. I could be charged with kidnapping and much more. So I pull up to the hotel and let him out.  I then call over the bellman and let him know what he was telling me. I get blown off and move on to security with the same response.  I then call my supervisor and fill him in on what I had just been told and once again got the blow off.  Not knowing what else to do, I called the Taxi Authority and they said I need to let the hotel know and that it was all that I could do.

I was upset. Everywhere I turned I got the same response and felt helpless.  I sat there for a few minutes and finally just went back to work. I felt like shit the rest of the day. The next few days I tried to find out what happened to him and see if the hotel had any issues with guests. I got no where and finally had to just push it out of my mind.  I had a few more situations similar to this and time after time I got the same response. I have developed a mind-set over the last few years to just let things go. I am just a driver and all I have to do is get someone from point A to point B. I only help when I’m asked to.

I still have a hard time with this and I know this fare will always be in the back of my mind. I wish there was a way to make changes in the industry. Give me your thoughts and let me know what you would do.

Thank A Cop

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Road Rage, Robberies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2011 by HackingVegas

Today is a good day for justice. As you have read in earlier posts a fellow cab driver was killed about a week ago. Las Vegas Metro Police have been very hush-hush on all the details of what really happened. Even though this is frustrating for the community it’s done for good reason and last nights report shows us why.
I pushed my post today to share this with you in honor of a fallen coworker. Please read and or watch the links below and thank a cop today for all the hard work they do despite the bad rap we all (including myself) give them.

Cops are still looking for this woman

News clip

I’ve posted more on my Facebook

Race Weekend

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Random Info, Road Rage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2011 by HackingVegas


Well into race weekend here in Vegas and I started my week on the big race day. They reported about 150,000 people in town for this race, but you wouldn’t know it from the way the cab lines looked.

The Taxi Authority puts out more cabs when we have big events in town. Over the last few years they’ve put less cabs out for these events due to already having too many permanent cabs on the road. But with the last few events, a couple of the bigger companies have fought for more “convention cabs”. Last year’s race I think each company put out 8 extra cabs. This year they are putting out a total of 15. That’s over one hundred cabs put out in a town that already has too many cabs on the road.

I was looking forward to this weekend. I took a 7am-7pm shift instead of my normal early shift so I would be on the road during the main rushes on both ends of the race. I get to work and the taxi lines are over flowing onto the streets. I’m not too worried yet, it’s early. I got a few rides but noticed the lines are still there. They are about half as long but still there. It’s now coming up to the 10 o’clock hour and on Sunday’s that’s primetime. Everyone is checking out and we have a good two hours of non-stop rides. Soon after, the airport picks up with incoming flights and the day never really stops. If you wait for a ride anywhere you normally only wait about 5 mins but we are waiting upwards of 30 mins.

I don’t let this get to me. I find a few good fares and despite not getting a single ride to the track I know I can always get a few back from the race. As the end of the race comes near I start my way toward the track. About 15 mins from the track I hear the race ended and people are lining up. I’m thinking this is going to be good. I’m here toward the beginning of the end so I should get at least 2 trips from here and if I push it, I may get more.

I pull up to gate 5, which is where we have to pick up from, and I’m only 30 cabs back. We are stopped by Highway Patrol while they let busses out. One after another comes out then they stop them. Now they are letting the busses facing us start to turn left on to the base. Good, now they should let us turn left into the racetrack. About 10 mins go by and the track is yelling for cabs saying they don’t have any. Meanwhile the line of 30 cabs has now grown to about 200 and we are still waiting. NHP (Nevada Highway Patrol) then stops the busses turning on the base and start to let the other busses go again. We are now going on about 25 mins and I see the NHP officers laughing at us. Finally about 30 minutes after I show up and the fans have been waiting for well over 30 minutes, we finally get let in. The group I got was pissed and after hearing what happened they gave the NHP Officer directing traffic a ration of shit on the way out. This small event messed up the flow for the rest of the evening and cost me about $80.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I’ll take a deep breath and move on. Ok almost (my wife always says I can’t leave well enough alone) why did NHP take over traffic control from Metro Police? Metro has a whole division that does nothing but traffic control. They do all the big events in town, why not this one this year?

Cabbie Killed Over What?

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Robberies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2011 by HackingVegas

I don’t work Friday’s or Saturdays so when I turned the news on this evening I was shocked to hear a fellow cab driver was killed yesterday morning. The driver was an employee at the company I driver for.  I wish the family of this driver my deepest condolences. I have shared this story on my Facebook and hope locals will help in finding these animals. No life is worth any amount of money.

Here are some links if you choose:

Local Fox 5

Local ABC 13

A Cab Driver Is A Get Away Car?

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Random Info, Robberies, UPDATES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2011 by HackingVegas

I was going through my news apps yesterday on my phone and found an update to the Rio robbery I talked about it in the post there’s an app for that.

The Rio

As I was reading I was shocked to hear the true story unfold. Come to find out the cabbie that reported being held up, as I heard over the scanner, was really the planned get away car. The cab driver brought the robber and waited for him as part of the big plan. The driver, who drove for “Lucky Cab”,seems to have been down on his luck.

The driver and another buddy got arrested for the crime, but police are still looking for the gunman. You can read more about the court date for these two on my Facebook page by clicking the link on the right side of this page.

After reading this I sat and thought for a second. This driver lives here in Las Vegas. He works in Las Vegas, has been talked to about and must know about all the cameras this town, especially the ones on the strip. I know as a cab driver myself we have taken a massive pay cut. Some of us have lost about 50% of our income from just two years ago but I think you just adjust and move forward. Not in a million years would I ever think about trying to rob a casino. I think if I had to resort to crime, I would sooner hold up a bank than ever try to hold up one of our casinos.

Next time you’re in Vegas do me a favor. Look up when walking around a casino. Try and find all of the cameras clustered across the ceiling then I would guess you would have to double that number. Then once you’re done, ask yourself this….. WWJD? Oh wait no,  I mean…would you even pick your nose in one of these places?

Die Tranie Hookers Die

Posted in Driving Basics, Hookers, Law Enforcement with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by HackingVegas


Ok that title may sound a little harsh but until you pick up two trashy transvestite hookers you have no room to judge. Being a hack in Vegas you learn that taking hookers around town is part of the job. Much like any other person getting in my cab, some are cool and others are a royal pain in the ass. Today was one of those days where they were a pain in the ass.

Let me start at the beginning of the day. The day started the night before when all three kids decide it would be fun to be sick together (I think I pissed them off somehow and they are getting back at me). So the wife and I are up and down all night tending to them. I finally get up for the day and do my last rounds of temps and head to work. I get my paperwork and go to get my cab which is sitting at the gas pumps still. It’s having issues and can’t be fueled. It takes about an hour to get another cab. I score a credit card cab and jump on the first call that came over the radio. Dispatch tells me they need a credit card so I’m thinking this is going to be a good day.

I pull up to the house and call the number. A guy answers and says he’ll send the girls right out. I know right then I’m getting working girls. Next thing I know, the guy is coming out with three suitcases and throws them at the cab before turning back around and going in. I start to wonder what I’m in store for. I look up at the house to see two heavy-set girls walk out wearing skin-tight rags and heals as high as the empire state building. I had a flashback to a high school football linemen who was nick named “the brick house”. Now I know this is going to be a shit ride. I get out and load the bags in the cab. The girls wedge themselves into the back seat and off we go.

Before I get off the street I ask where they are headed. They ask me to call a few hotels and get rates and then they’ll let me know. I get them the best rate and start toward the Rio. On the way there I hear Blondie talking crap about the guy they just left. She was mad because he didn’t like what they had to offer and didn’t understand what he expected. She made a phone call to someone and started yelling even more. The way she was talking I was sure they were transvestites. Then it came out, her real voice, her deep male voice. I started to laugh out loud and had to turn up the music to cover it.

I pull up to the Rio and got out to open the door and unload the bags. I see Blondie digging in her purse and starting to cry. This is never a good sign. I go back around and sit while she digs. The brunette starts going over the events from the night and says the key words. “it’s ok, we’ll just go back and find it”. I hear this all the time and it’s just a way for hookers to get you to drive them around looking for a John to pay for them. The bad thing is, drivers who are dumb enough to fall for this most of the time end up having the girl run out on them without paying.

I turn to them and let them know I’m not going anywhere and I have to call the Taxi Authority if they can’t find some form of money. Once again, Blondie starts crying and tries to tell me she’s not ripping me off but “she” just needs to go to the Cosmopolitan to get her card. I tell her that my supervisor has been notified and that I can’t leave till they show up. So about 40 minutes go by and they are still digging and crying. Meanwhile, I’m out of the cab trying to get away from the god awful noise this dumb ass is making. The Taxi Authority shows up and I go over what’s happened. It’s amazing after all that time of not having money they see a badge and boom, money comes out and the fare is paid

So I ask you….. if this was the start of you work week would you be happy with the next Tranie hooker you pick up? Oh wait, raise of hands – how many transvestite hookers do you come across when you’re at work?

I would love to hear your stories.

 

 

 

 

There’s An APP For That

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Random Info, Robberies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2011 by HackingVegas

This morning another casino robbery took place at the Rio Hotel and Casino. Reports of this first came over our cab radios about 4:30am when another driver informed everyone to stay away from the Rio because they had just been robbed and everyone was running around with guns drawn. I don’t know about you but when I hear something like this the first thing I do is grab my phone.

You may be wondering why I would grab my phone. Was I in the middle of this and needing to call for back up? Not at all. I was about 15 miles north of this crap. Did I know someone who may be in danger and felt the need to warn them? No, everyone I care about is home sleeping (then again my wife does sleep walk, hhmmm). So why would I grab my phone after hearing this? Well that’s easy, there’s an app for that. Yes, my beloved iPhone gives me endless amounts of info and entertainment.


I first pull up my police scanner app called “5-0 Radio”. This is a must have for anyone who has to be in the know. It covers multiple countries and it’s free. I tune in the command area for the strip right as they are flying into Terribles Casino. I find out that the suspect jumped in a cab and had the driver act as his get-away car. The driver pulled into Terribles and the suspect jumped out. After the cops talked to the driver, they reported that he was a 50-year-old male with a grey ball cap and a gun.

I get on the radio and let dispatch know what’s going on so drivers in the area don’t get caught up in this mess. My dispatcher comes back and asks how I know all this. Being the smart ass I am, I just say “There’s an app for that”. Before I could hang up the mic my phone starts to ring. I answer it, not to a hello, but a laughing male voice saying”ok smart ass. How are you getting this info?”. I explain about the best app ever and hang up.

As the morning goes on I listen to Metro set up a perimeter and stop every person that even comes close to the description of the suspect. I hear the list of streets that they are closing while they search and pick up the mic to update dispatch of the closures. Just as I go to push the button to talk I hear dispatch give the exact update I was about to give him. What the hell? Then I hear it in the back ground. I hear the police radio go off in the background. Hey wait! That’s my job. I’m suppose to be the go to guy, the guy with all the answers, the all-knowing driver (ok, I’m sure you get my drift). But for reals, who gave him the right to go download the app and steal my thunder?

So after all this excitement, I have still yet to hear if Metro has any leads (I don’t get the tack channels on the app). And yes, I’m still listening to it while writing this (it’s 7:17 am now). My title of the all-knowing one is being threatened by a mangy dispatcher. And last but not least, I’ve learned a valuable lesson. Don’t ever give up your secrets at work.

****CLICK HERE FOR UPDATE****

Long Hauling

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2011 by HackingVegas

I found this map on Google images and thought it would be a good thing to post for anyone coming to our city. What is this map showing you? Well it’s showing you the difference between a honest driver and a dishonest driver.

Believe it or not, we have thousands of first time visitors come into Las Vegas everyday and they have no clue what they have gotten themselves into. Everyone sees Las Vegas in the movies and thinks they know it all. Unfortunately, while Las Vegas is one of the best cities to go to for a Vacation/Holiday, most new-comers (and some returning guests) don’t know how they can be ripped off within minutes of arriving in our great city.

Long hauling is when a driver takes you to a destination and does not take a direct route.  The most common way people get long hauled is when going to and from the airport. They built a Tunnel going under the runways at the airport and it leads you right on to the highway that runs just south of the airport. Most people think that going on the highway with no stop lights is the fastest way of getting somewhere, hints why this tactic works so well.

Airport to Las Vegas the right way (4mi 11mins)

Airport to Luxor Long Haul (6.9mi 14 min)

But as you can see, this is a myth and is only a way for a shitty cabdriver to try and make a few extra bucks. I never long haul my fares and even try to inform people of some of the tricks they may hear while in our town. I’m sure this would make me the most hated driver out there but I feel guests need to know.

As a industry I would say that about 80% of the drivers out there are good hard working drivers, but the other 20% are either shitty people or have just succumb to the pressure in order to keep their jobs. Due to all this, I have some questions. Some have been brought up to the TA and others are just my brainstorms.

  1. Why doesn’t the TA enforce this more then a few times a day? (I would guess only 1 in 10 cabs going through the tunnel are really going south of the airport)
  2. Why doesn’t the airport inform travelers of this with a sign or brochure (the airport loves their signs)
  3. Why don’t the companies really take action against these drivers (it’s easy to spot them)

So until the powers that be really do something about this I will keep doing whats right and informing as many of these guest as I can.

Things to keep in mind when in a taxi:

  • The tunnel is never the best way to go to the strip
  • The highway is only a money saver during the time of day when the strip is full of traffic and you should be able to see if traffic is moving or not.
  • The Strip has a few back roads we like to use. (Koval, Paradise, Dean Martin/Industrial, Frank Sinatra) Let us, they really do save time (up to 10 mins) while only costing in most cases a few cents more but no more then a dollar. (it’s about turn over in this industry)
  • If you have a way you like to, then go tell us. We all drive our own way and can’t read minds

Cause and Effect

Posted in CRASH!, Driving Basics, Drugs, Drunks, Law Enforcement with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2011 by HackingVegas

In case you’re not familiar with where Las Vegas is, I’ll tell you it’s in the middle of no where. There is nothing for miles after you leave the valley and the valley isn’t very big itself. I believe that this is the reason why we don’t get many police chases out here. But once in a while, a brainiac thinks he can beat the cop’s. Most recently, as you can see, running didn’t work out so well. The guy started in Henderson, a small suburb to Las Vegas. He was drunk and a cop tried to walk up and talk to him, but before the cop got there the driver hit the gas and off they went. He drove from the southern part of the valley to the northern part where they put down spike strips to deflate his tires. When that didn’t work as planed, the drunk continued back down toward the strip. Fearing the guy would hurt someone else, the cop’s decided to P.I.T.(Precision Immobilization Technique) the SUV and ended up sending him to the hospital.

Now, this is the strips worse nightmare. A crash in front of a major hotel (The Wynn) and having a cop being involved. Most accidents are cleared quickly and traffic keeps moving but fatalities and police involved accidents take between 2-5 hours to clear. What this means is the busiest street in Las Vegas is closed and the main entrance to two  AAA Five Diamond resorts (Wynn & Encore) are too. This is just another one of those things that no one could ever see coming and we cab drivers have to work around.

Most people understand the situation and are willing to do what they have to in order to get where they have to go. The good thing is that the Wynn has a side entrance off another street for it’s”Tower Suite” guests. So they simply open it to all guests and life goes on. But the Encore only has a Strip entrance and all guest must walk through both the Encore and Wynn to come and go when this happens. That’s where the problems began. Like I said, most people are ok but a fellow driver was just telling me a story about a fare that thought she was above this and gave him hell of a time.

He starts by informing her that the Strip is closed and if she needs to get to the Encore he had to drop her off at the Wynn Tower Suites and she’ll have to walk through. She says whatever and off they go. When pulling up to the Wynn’s Tower Suites entrance, she flips out. This is what he said happened.

Her:     “This is not where I’m going. What are you trying to pull here?”

Him:  “Nothing Miss. The Strip is closed and this is where we are told to drop off all Encore guests.”

Her:  “Well I pay good money to stay there and you will take me there or I’m not paying you a dime.”

Him:       (Crap here we go)” Ok one second.”

He gets out and calls over a doorman to help explain this to her. She says ok and gets out while telling the driver “I’m not paying you. I hired you to take me to the Encore and you didn’t so you fail to complete your duty”. The doorman and the driver explain that’s not the way it works and she still owes him the $16.10 thats on the meter. She refuses to and walks away. The driver then calls for the cop’s and gets security involved.

Long story a little shorter, the hotel gets the money from her and the driver is paid about 30 mins later. All this due to a dumb ass running from the cops. I love how everything effects a Hack trying to make a living.

HELP HELP HELP

Posted in Close Calls, Driving Basics, Drunks, Law Enforcement, Robberies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2011 by HackingVegas

This job has many risks. Dealing with the public has its ups and downs and the other day was another case of the bad. It was the last fare of my shift and I picked up from the new Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino. Two Men, one in his late 20’s and the other in his 40’s, got in and were drunk as hell. I was able to smell the alcohol before they even sat down. The younger guy gives me the cross streets of Tropicana and Maryland, saying that’s where they live. I start toward that intersection the shortest way possible (which any local would know). The younger man then says,

Him: Oh wait turn there

Me: I thought you said Trop and Mary?

Him: oh yeah ok you know what you’re doing

My first alarm goes off. If he really lives there, why is he trying to make me turn away from his house ? I start really paying attention to what they are saying now and try to get more info from them. I ask for an address and get a street name that is about 3 miles from the intersection they gave. I then ask,

Me: Oh, so are we going to Trop and Mary or Russell and Sandhill?

Older Man: (with a funny look on his face) Oh.. ah …yeah that’s what we said right?

Me: (playing along) I don’t know. Probably, it’s the end of my shift and I forgot what you said.

Older Man: Ok,  just keep going and I’ll tell you where to go

At this point ALL ALARMS are sounding and I try to remember the distress code for dispatch. The men started talking in a whisper and shifting their bodies a lot. I know this is going to turn out bad if I don’t do something. I pick up the radio and give the HELP HELP HELP code to the dispatcher. This code sounds like normal talk to anyone else and because drivers are always talking to dispatch the riding public doesn’t catch on. But after I give the code, the older man starts to cry. I’m confused and realize he knows what I just did. He must have worked for this company before. We’ve had former employees hold our company up before and I figured this was just another one. I hear him say something to the younger man and then  he started giving me random directions. Knowing that the cops should be on their way I continue on the path I gave in the code to dispatch. Next thing I know the old man yells:

Older Man: STOP STOP STOP. Just let us out here. We’re good, here just stop.

Me: Ok, let me pull over.

Younger Man: Here just take this (throwing a 10 dollar bill at me)

I pull over in public view and let them out. They take off running and I give dispatch the all clear and start back to the yard. I started thinking on the way back, I never got scared and my heart didn’t even race during all that. This job has obviously taken its toll on me but caused me to be more street smart than ever before. I didn’t even call the wife or tell anyone about this until now (well I kinda told the wife later that night).

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