By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Deputies search for taxi robbers
Driver wasn't injured in incident
Placeholder Image

The Hall County Sheriff's Office is looking for two men who robbed a taxi driver Wednesday night.

Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks, public information officer for the sheriff's office, said the two Hispanic men robbed the Taxi Los Potros Co. driver at about 9:30 p.m. at a mobile home park in the 100 block of McConnell Drive.

The driver picked up the two men from a business on Atlanta Highway, and once at the mobile home park, one of the men pulled a gun and demanded money, Wilbanks said.

But when the driver attempted to retrieve his own gun the encounter turned violent.

"(The driver) struggled with them over their gun and at the same time he was trying to produce his own gun," Wilbanks said.

After a short struggle, the men overpowered the driver and stole his .38 revolver before running from the taxi, Wilbanks added.

The suspects are described as being in their late teens or early twenties, wearing white and brown hooded shirts.

Authorities said they encourage people not to put up a struggle when an armed robber makes demands.

"The way that we look at it is ... those are things that are easy to replace," Wilbanks said. "We would much rather see somebody be deprived of their property than be deprived of their life."

This was the fourth robbery of a taxi driver in Gainesville since August, and arrests have been made in connection with two those robberies.

In mid-August, the Gainesville Police Department arrested and charged Jonathan Williams Owens, 21, of Gainesville with two counts of criminal attempt to commit armed robbery. One of the armed robberies he is accused of involved robbing a taxi driver at gunpoint.
Renardo Shonice Hawkins, 17, of Gainesville was arrested in connection with an armed robbery of a taxi driver just two day prior to Owens' arrest.

Another robbery of a Gainesville taxi driver resulted in the suspect throwing the driver out of the car and driving off in the taxi. The car was later found abandoned in south Gainesville, but no arrest has been made.

Authorities, though, say there hasn't necessarily been a spike in armed robberies targeting taxi drivers.

"We do occasionally respond to that type of incident, but I don't think there has necessarily been an increase," Holbrook said.

Wilbanks said Wednesday's robbery was just the second involving a taxi driver this year.

"We last had a series of them about three or four years ago," he said.

"It's one of those crimes that has been off-and-on and steady for recent years," Wilbanks added.

The driver wasn't injured during Wednesday's incident, and the case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Division at 770-533-7674.