Police still seeking answers on taxi driver robberies

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Thames Valley Police has re-appealed for witnesses to a series of robberies against city taxi drivers last year.

Between June 11 and July 10, robbers targeted nine taxi drivers and a pizza delivery driver in a series of offences across Milton Keynes. A further three robberies were carried out at shops in the city.

At Aylesbury Crown Court last month, Michael Powell, aged 27, of Melville Street, Northampton, pleaded guilty to robbing a taxi driver from Speedline at 2am on June 11 last year. He was one of two men picked up from the Theatre District in Central Milton Keynes who robbed the driver at the shopping area in Shearmans, Fullers Slade.

James Gardner, aged 27, of Arnos Grove, Monkston, also pleaded guilty to robbing a taxi driver from Ace Cars on 4 July last year. Gardner was one of four people picked up from Derwent Drive in Bletchley shortly after 9pm to go to Langland Road, Netherfield, where they robbed the driver.

Gardner was sentenced to 40 months in prison at Aylesbury in September last year. Powell received five years in prison on December 20.

Detective Constable Matt Hemmings, investigating, said: “Both Gardner and Powell targeted hard working self employed taxi drivers, who, by the very nature of their job, are vulnerable to attack, and left them feeling extremely shaken.

“They used weapons, violence and the threat of violence to steal cash and valuables and their sentences reflect that. But they did not carry out these attacks alone and I am still investigating this robbery series and following up existing leads.

“All the offences against taxi drivers were carried out when there was more than one other person in the car. There are people who know who were responsible for these offences and I hope the sentences handed out to Powell and Gardner will convince them that we will deal appropriately with any information we get.

“If you do not want to speak to me, phone Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court. If the information you give leads to a conviction, you may be eligible for a reward.”

Anyone with information can also contact Det Con Hemmings at Milton Keynes CID on 101.