News Column

Cops: Credit card underpayment nets cabbie beater

August 10, 2014

By Laurel J. Sweet, Boston Herald

Aug. 10--A taxi driver was beaten in Arlington late last night by one of two men who tried to get away with paying just $2 of a $20 fare -- but they were quickly nabbed because they used a credit card, cops said.

Christopher LaFrance, 25, of Arlington, and Jacob Shaps, 24, of Boston, are being held without bail at the Arlington police station pending their arraignments tomorrow in Cambridge District Court.

Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan said LaFrance almost made the arrests too easy for investigators: In addition to swiping his credit card in the cab, he left behind several other cards with his name on them in the back seat.

"I wish to commend the cab driver for coming forward and positively identifying his alleged assailants," Ryan said. "The Arlington Police Department takes cases like this very seriously, and we are relieved that he was not badly hurt."

Ryan said police responded at 11:36 p.m. last night to Lowell Street and Park Avenue Extension, where the driver told them he had picked up the two men at the MBTA Alewife Station in Cambridge and drove them to Arlington. The driver told LaFrance and Shaps the fare was $20, but LaFrance allegedly only paid $2. When the driver threatened to call the cops, he said one of the men started punching him. When he reached for his cell phone, one of the suspects allegedly grabbed it and threw it out the window of the cab.

Police tracked the two suspects to a home on Cleveland Street thanks to LaFrance's credit cards.


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Source: Boston Herald (MA)

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