Female taxi driver in hi-jack ordeal in Alicante

A FEMALE taxi driver was forced to drive almost 200km after her vehicle was hi-jacked at knifepoint in Alicante.

The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon after two males got in a taxi in Alicante City. After asking her to take them to several local neighbourhoods they threatened the driver, a 43-year-old Spanish woman, with weapons telling her to drive north to Valencia, first on the N-332 followed by the AP-7.

The hi-jackers, 34-year-old man and a teenage boy, both of Spanish nationality, brandished a ham cutting knife, an axe and a fishing harpoon which they had been carrying in a bag, according to levante-emv.com 

The driver, identified by her first name Yolanda and with eight years experience driving a taxi, sent a secret distress signal to the Radio Taxi control room which in turn alerted the authorities.

In a bid to prevent being followed the suspects forced Yolanda to disconnect her CB radio and remove its antenna, although her colleagues could see the vehicle’s location via a GPS system installed in the taxi.

They stopped at a service station, and using €30 she had in change – she did not have more as she had just started her shift- they purchased food and drinks, while forcing her to hide in her vehicle.

After about 100 kilometres the suspects forced her to stop her vehicle in Calpe and she gave them the pin number of her credit card after they threatened to kill her. The minor then withdrew the maximum permitted amount €600 from a cash machine using her card, according to local Press reports.

Meanwhile police had set up check points along the AP-7 motorway, The suspects then told the driver to turn round and head back south toward Alicante. Dozens of police and Guardia Civil patrols were deployed to set up checkpoints at all the tolls in the vehicle’s path

. The taxi was spotted, this time between Sant Joan and El Campello where it attempted to exit the motorway. Noticing a Guardia Civil patrol, Yolanda stamped on the brakes and ran away from the vehicle after which both males were arrested.

The motive for the hi-jack is being investigated, although sources have suggested the 34-year-old man may have just been released from Fontcalent prison, although this remained unconfirmed at the time of going to print.

The taxi driver was treated for shock although she did not suffer any injuries during the hijack which lasted almost three hours. She was visited by Alicante Mayor Sonia Castedo whom she has reportedly known for some time.

By John Jackson

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