Singapore

Robbery! But cabby fights back

Cabby fights off scissors-wielding robber

Speaking in Mandarin, the passenger said "robbery" as he placed a pair of scissors against the cabby's neck and demanded all his cash.

But Mr Tay Lim Heng, 56, a taxi driver with Trans-Cab, wasn't about to give in so easily.

"I was not scared at all because the robber was very small-sized and I could easily beat him up.

"But he had a weapon and I kept thinking of how I could get rid of it," the cabby said of the incident which happened yesterday at 1am, at a quiet carpark at Block 411, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10.

He decided to drop some cash on his vehicle's floor to distract the robber, who was holding the scissors in his left hand.

It worked.

As the robber was picking up the money with his right hand, Mr Tay quickly grabbed the man's left hand and twisted it.

In the process, the scissors fell out of the robber's hand.

Mr Tay, who described the robber as being in his early 20s, said: "I also pushed his hand against the cab's roof. I heard a cracking sound and the robber shouted in pain. I think I broke his arm.

"He was holding on to his injured arm even after he ran out of my taxi."

The alleged robber, who was captured (above) by Mr Tay’s in-car camera.

The robber escaped with about $200. But in his haste, he left his pair of slippers behind as he fled in the direction of the HDB estate.

Mr Tay said he wanted to give chase in his taxi but had trouble getting past the carpark gantry.

The robber is still at large.

The police confirmed that a case of armed robbery took place.

In the struggle, Mr Tay ended up with small cuts on his neck and some blood stains on his shirt.

The father of four - the oldest is in university and the youngest in Primary 4 - said his wife chided him for retaliating.

Mr Tay, who has been driving a cab for the past eight years, said: "My wife said it could have been dangerous and I should have just given him the money."

The cabby said he works from 7pm to 7am, earning about $80 in profit daily.

"I fought back because I was not willing to let him get away with my hard-earned money. But if he was of a bigger build, I would probably have just given him the money," he added.

OTHER CABBIES IN ROBBERIES

Cases of taxi drivers being robbed have occasionally made the news in recent months.

Last month, police arrested two teenagers for allegedly robbing and hurting a cabby at Clementi Avenue 1.

The two suspects - aged 17 and 19 - fled with only $25 but were later arrested by police.

Similarly, in August, two men - aged 21 and 23 - were also caught for trying to rob a taxi driver.

At about 1.45pm on Aug 13 the duo boarded the taxi at Mandai Road.

The cabby was initially directed to Loyang, near Tampines.

After reaching the destination, the driver was told to head to Chuan Hoe Avenue, near Pasir Ris.

Before doing so, the cabby saw one passenger taking out a knife from his bag.

Fortunately, the cabby managed to get out of the taxi and call the police. The two passengers tried to escape but were later arrested.

A person convicted of attempted armed robbery can be jailed up to seven years and caned at least 12 strokes.

Under the law, robbery with hurt carries a jail term of between five and 20 years, and caning of not less than 12 strokes.

SingaporecrimeRobberytaxiUncategorisedAng Mo Kio