One man from Albuquerque, New Mexico, got a very rough wake-up call about the dangers of his new job as an Uber driver, when he unknowingly served as a getaway driver in an armed robbery.
The incident actually happened in February this year, but the case was officially closed earlier this week, when the culprit was found guilty and sentenced. The Uber driver, Terry Owens, tells KOAT Action News he’s happy with the outcome because “there has to be accountability.”
On the night in question, as he was just getting started with Uber, Owens picked up a man police would later identify as Austen Harris. Harris asked to be driven to a local gas station, from where he emerged acting “weird” and holding a pair of scissors in his hand.
As it turns out, he’d used the scissors to rob the place and Owens recalls even asking him about it. “I asked him if he had taken anything in there,” he recalls. “He's acting kind of weird and holding a pair of scissors. He says, ‘No, I'm just using this pair of scissors to cut strings off my jacket’.”
Owens dropped Harris off at his destination and went home, for what he assumed was a quiet evening with his family. About one hour later, the police showed up, demanding that he emerge from inside with his hands up.
cops had spoken to eyewitnesses and gotten a description of the getaway vehicle, which they were able to trace back to Owens. Unfortunately for Harris, finding him was just as easy, because, doh, setting up an Uber account leaves visible traces.
Harris was arrested and charged. In the trial that just wrapped up, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to drug rehab, the report says. Next time, if there is one, he might want to rethink using ride-sharing services for getaway vehicles.