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In a nutshell, he was driving neighborhood livery cab drivers crazy.
That’s how cops are describing Richard Lynch, a 15−time loser who was busted in Bensonhurst last week for allegedly holding up four livery cab drivers in two days.
Officials said that his failure to leave his comfort zone was the 35−year−old’s undoing: he was ultimately nabbed after he called for a car from a company connected to a car service he had already robbed, police alleged.
As he waited for his fifth victim, Lynch was scooped up by police who were called to the area by a suspicious dispatcher who had been alerted to the robbery spree.
The madness began at about 4 p.m. June 19 when Lynch allegedly called for a cab to pick him and a friend up.
The 64−year−old cab driver who responded took the duo to the corner of 26th Avenue and Shore Parkway, where they put a knife to the man’s neck, police alleged.
The two robbed the victim of his property and his car before speeding off, alleged police. The stolen livery cab was located a short distance away.
By 11 p.m. that night, Lynch allegedly struck again, this time robbing a cab driver from Eastland Car Service after being taken to the corner of 18th Avenue and 62nd Street.
The cabbie told police that he dropped Lynch off, but the suspect was soon joined by the second suspect.
Both men then turned to the cabbie with a knife and robbed him of his wallet and vehicle, cops alleged.
By the second robbery, cops from the 62nd Precinct were investigating the spree.
“We had already called all of the car services in the area, warned them about the robberies and asked them that if they received a suspicious call, they should contact us,” Deputy Inspector John Sprague explained.
Several hours later, just before 4:30 a.m., the next day, Lynch allegedly struck again, this time robbing a car service driver at the corner of 17th Avenue and 62nd Street.
The victim, a driver for Kings Car Service, said that after taking Lynch and his friend to the corner, the suspects allegedly pulled both a knife and a gun on him and demanded that he relinquish $225 in receipts, his cell phone and his wheels.
The suspects then sped off, leaving the victim in their dust, alleged police.
Police alleged that Lynch was flying solo on 71st Street near 15th Avenue, when he once again pulled a knife on an unsuspecting livery cab driver and made off with his vehicle, this time a livery van, at 7:10 p.m. Saturday night.
The van was recovered a short time later.
By this time, the threat level among cab companies in the area had elevated to bright yellow.
When Lynch called for another pick−up, a suspicious dispatcher contacted a relative who worked for a competing livery service that the 35−year−old had already targeted. They also contacted police.
Everyone showed up at the pick−up spot and found Lynch, who was positively ID’d as the alleged knife−wielding livery cab−jacker.
Police believe that Lynch was allegedly robbing cabbies to fuel a drug habit.
Sprague said that he has a long criminal history and had been arrested on 15 different charges since 2006, although most of them were considered minor crimes.
Lynch made the big leagues this week by being charged for multiple first−degree robberies.
His partner, however, is still at large.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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