NEW ORLEANS -- The search is on for two armed women who police say held up cab drivers at gunpoint early Thursday morning
According to the New Orleans Police Department, all three incidents happened overnight within 90 minutes of each other in the Irish Channel.
Police say a cab pulled up to the 2300 block of Chippewa to pick up a passenger around 3:13 a.m. The woman hopped into the cab and held up the driver at gunpoint, forcing him into the trunk of his cab.
"The perpetrator then drove the cab around for a short while before stopping it and opening up the truck again and demanding that the victim give her his cell phone," said NOPD 6th District Sgt. Sabrina Richardson.
Police say the woman stopped the cab at least three times asking for the driver's cell phone. She was finally dropped off near Jackson and Chippewa, where the driver called police.
About an hour later at 4:15 a.m., police say a second cab driver showed up to the 500 block of Adele to pick up a passenger, also a woman, who was later captured in surveillance images.
"This perpetrator brandishes what he believes is a handgun through her jacket. She demands money from him as well. He gives her the funds and she tells him to drive to an ATM machine," said Sgt. Richardson.
After withdrawing $400, police say the driver was asked to take the armed woman to the 900 block of Toledano. That is where a third cab was waiting to pick up a passenger.
After robbing two drivers, police say the woman robbed a man who came out to meet his taxi cab.
"You don't have the same perpetrator in all three robberies. You have the initial young lady who was in a black tight dress. Then the second perpetrator who was dressed in a tank top, jeans, jacket with a baseball cap on," said Sgt. Richardson.
United Cab President Sheree Kerner confirms that all three cabs belonged to her company.
"I'm very happy that the guys did not get physically hurt," said Kerner, who has been lobbying state lawmakers to make the death penalty the punishment for cab driver murders.
Kerner lost her brother, veteran cab driver Billy Kerner, last year to violent crime. Kerner is also hoping that new city rules requiring cameras inside cabs will deter or help catch criminals.
"I think the cameras, I know most of the industry seems against it because of the financial burden. Once we can get past that hurdle I think it will be helpful," said Kerner.
Police say there have a been a total of five cab driver armed robberies in NOPD's 6th District in the last month. NOPD does not believe all of those cases are connected. If you know anything, call Crimestoppers at 822-1111.