Cab's GPS Cracks Sex Crime - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Cab's GPS Cracks Sex Crime

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Most of us jump into a taxi without giving it a second thought. But what if something goes wrong? Very wrong? Well, in this case, police say something did. NBC10 Investigator Harry Hairston shows you how the cab was used to crack the crime. (Published Wednesday, April 27, 2011)

    A woman told police she was sexually assaulted by a cab driver she hired to take her from Center City to Audubon, New Jersey in March.

    Police could not find any human witnesses, but the Philadelphia Parking Authority's GPS system turned out to be a reliable crime-solving tool.

    "I'm going to look at all cabs that are in one-tenth of a mile of the original location at the time that they believe it occurred," Officer John Broggi told NBC10 Investigator Harry Hairston, explaining how he specializes in tracking cabs. He can retrace the movements of hundreds of taxis using the same system that allows you to pay for a cab ride by credit card.

    Broggi was able to pinpoint the one cab that took the route the women described and that stopped long enough for the alleged assault to actually take place.

    "It lead to the arrest of the taxi driver," said Audubon Police Detective Jeff Whitman.

    The cab driver accused in the case says he is innocent.

    "He was just trying to help this lady," his father told Hairston.

    The suspect, who lost his job after his arrest, has a court date in May. Investigators credit the GPS tracking system for saving them time and raising the safety factor for riders.

    "Safety is greatly increased with the GPS because if you lose something in that cab, if something happens to you in that cab, if there was an accident in that cab, there's a way to find out who you got into the cab with," said Broggi.