3 suspects sought in at least 40 ride-share robberies across New York City

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Police are looking for three suspects believed to be responsible for at least 40 robberies involving ride-share drivers across New York City.

Authorities say the crime spree began on April 3 and involves the unidentified individuals requesting taxis through different rideshare services in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.

Upon gaining entry into the taxis, police say the suspects tell the drivers they wish to change destinations but that their phones are not working.

They request to use the driver's phone in order to input the new destinations, but instead, they access the driver's accounts and conduct unauthorized funds transfers to unknown accounts.

In several incidents, the suspects removed the drivers' phones by threat of force.

They then flee the vehicle. Police say 40 drivers for Uber or Lyft have been scammed out of hundreds of dollars by the suspects.

"There's always gonna be people trying to get over," said Lyft and Uber driver Porfirio Rodriguez. "You just gotta be aware, When you're a driver, an Uber or Lyft, you're ready for this. You don't know who's getting in your car. You gotta be careful."

A written statement from Lyft reads in part: "Upon becoming aware of these incidents, we deactivated the passengers and reached out to the affected drivers to express our support."

The company says it is reminding its drivers to never allow anyone access to their Lyft account or cell phone and is reimbursing affected drivers.

Anyone with information in regard to the identity of these individuals is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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