Bogus taxi driver hunted in capital


By Shaun Milne

POLICE are hunting a bogus taxi driver who robbed a man he duped into his car.

Detectives are also warning festive revellers to be on their guard and only use officially badged-up cabbies during the Christmas party season in case he strikes again.

Lothian and Borders Police said they are investigating the incident on Friday night which happened near the Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre where hit Queen and Ben Elton musical We Will Rock You is being shown.

The 45-year-old victim had been standing near the theatre at the top of Leith Walk when a driver dressed in a grey top and black jeans asked if he was looking for a taxi.

The man jumped into the grey or silver coloured four door car which was driven to Cathedral Lane nearby before it stopped.

The heavy built driver – described as being white and speaking with an Eastern European accent – then demanded his passenger’s wallet and cash.

There was a short struggle between the victim and the brown haired driver, who was also aged about 45-years-old.

The driver managed to get hold of the money and released his victim before driving off.

Last night a police spokesman warned: “At this time we would urge people to check before they enter a private hire vehicle, that the driver has the correct official identification.

“All private hire vehicles in Edinburgh should now also display a sign on the driver and passenger doors identifying the vehicle as being available for ‘pre booked hires only’.

“There should be Licensed Private Hire vehicle signs on the front and rear of the vehicle as well as an identification sign on the dashboard.”

Although no weapon was involved, the spokesman  added: “This was an unprovoked attack on an innocent member of the public and we are keen for any information that can help us identify the suspect.”

Witnesses were asked to contact police on 0131 311 3131.