As we learned from the movie Drive, a great heist is very much dependent on a great driver.
And for almost five robbery attempts, 52-year-old Halifax cabbie Harry Richard performed quite admirably behind the wheel. Over a three-and-a-half-hour period on Saturday night, the experienced taxi driver chauffeured would-be criminal Stephen Paul Austin between three Subway restaurants, an Ultramar gas station, and a McDonald’s as his customer strolled in to demand money from clerks and empty registers.
As it turns out, Richard had no idea he was actually acting as the getaway driver for a crime spree.
Police arrested both men and initially charged the taxi driver as an accessory to robbery. This, of course, was news to Richard, whose only concern was the $16 fare he was owed at the time of the arrest.
“I couldn’t believe my ears,” he said. “Robbery? What are you talking about? I got this guy in this car and he owes me $16. The metre is on.”
He was also quick to defend his ability to pull off a getaway drive had he actually premeditated the stunt:
“If I was going to rob a store, I’m not an idiot, I would take the roof light off my car.”
The cops, meanwhile, were not impressed. They believe Richard should have been suspicious of his passenger’s actions and held him – at prime time, no less – in handcuffs for further questioning.
“I lost the busy hours of my shift (and) I was humiliated,” Richard said of the ordeal. He was also upset about a lack of apology from police and will follow up with a formal complaint.
Reports that the tab remained unpaid could not be confirmed.