Are Cab Drivers Safe in Greenbelt?

by: Lauryn Hill and Mark Arrowsmith Special to the AFRO
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A Black D.C. cab driver was robbed at gunpoint in Greenbelt, Md. around midnight on July 19, according to a Greenbelt police officer. Police have not released the victim’s name.

The cab driver picked the suspect up at the Greenbelt Metro station. Upon arriving at the location, the suspect showed a handgun to the cab driver and proceeded to demand money. The suspect then fled the scene on foot.

A cab driver was robbed by a passenger that was picked up from the Greenbelt, Md. metro station on July 19. (Courtesy photo)

At 11:59 p.m. police were called to the corner of Hanover Parkway and Greenbrook Drive, the scene of the robbery. According to police, they are looking for a Black man who is 5’11, about 180 lbs with a muscular build, short hair, tattoos on both arms. The suspect was last seen wearing a white shirt with black stripes and jeans.

Though residents said armed robberies do not happen often in the immediate area, others question their safety because of Greenbelt’s proximity to high crime areas. “I never feel safe, you never know what could happen, but obviously certain areas you feel a little more protected, and certain areas you don’t,” Chris Johnson, a 23-year-old White resident, told the AFRO. Johnson added that due to the proximity of Springhill Lake, a place he considers to have high crime, he rarely feels safe.

According to Neighborhood Scout, Springhill Lake is an ethnically diverse, moderate income neighborhood with a high child poverty rate. As of July 26, there have been 108 crime incidents in Springhill Lake compared to 71 incidents in Greenbelt East, the area where the robbery occurred.

There have been 14 armed robberies in Greenbelt as of July 25 of this year, according to George Matthews, a media relations officer at Greenbelt police department. Police said they are trying to locate the suspect based on robberies that are occurring in nearby areas.

Cab drivers from the Greenbelt community said they feel safe in the area they are in. They told the AFRO that they don’t carry any weapons for protection. “I don’t have any weapons, but God,” one driver, who preferred not to be named, said.

Residents said they are satisfied with the policing in the community. “Police are doing a great job of limiting the crimes, they could do better, we all could do better,” Nat Jordan, a Black 41-year-old metro worker, told the AFRO.

Cindy Pierre, 28, said while she does not live in the area, but she still feels safe commuting to work by Uber. “I feel safe, I haven’t had any issues with the area,” said Pierre. “I think it’s relatively nice.” She said she works in Laurel, Md.

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