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E-mail warns students of cab driver threat

Angela Saoud | Friday, November 12, 2004

Students at Saint Mary’s received an e-mail Thursday warning them of a cab driver or cab drivers soliciting students to pose for pictures in hotel rooms.

According to the e-mail, sent by Vice President of Student Affairs Linda Timm, the driver or drivers solicits Saint Mary’s students to pose for pictures by offering them various amounts of money. The e-mail noted there “have also been requests for other sex acts with groups of individuals so that encounters can be videotaped.”

The e-mail stated that one specific driver has been identified and was issued a no trespass order, forbidding the driver to come onto the Saint Mary’s campus.

Saint Mary’s Security is monitoring the situation, as are other appropriate authorities in the surrounding communities, the e-mail said.

The e-mail also noted the amounts of money offered for sexual acts have been “significant and intentionally enticing.”

In her e-mail, Timm warned the campus of the dangers of an activity like this.

“The technology that exists today will allow pictures and video such as is being requested to be sent out over the Internet. It is hard to know just how far such pictures will travel and in whose hands they may arrive,” Timm wrote. “Pictures such as these often have a way of surfacing later in one’s life when it is least expected. Do not place yourself in this type of situation. The money may sound attractive, but the consequences can be dangerous, sometimes fatal.”

The e-mail said any student who feels uncomfortable with anything a cab driver says or does should have the driver bring her to Saint Mary’s and call security immediately.

Saint Mary’s Spokesperson Melanie McDonald said all the information Saint Mary’s has was released to students in the e-mail.

“Everything she [Linda Timm] was able to obtain was in the e-mail,” McDonald said. “We wanted to give the community as much information as possible so this didn’t happen to anyone.”

Senior Kendall Krische said she has never had any problems with cab drivers, but will now be more cautious when using cabs for transportation.

“I usually take a cab somewhere at least once a week,” Krische said. “I guess from now on, if I have to go anywhere, I’ll try to go with a lot of people.”

And while others agree with Krische, some students said they wouldn’t be afraid to take a cab in the future.

Junior Jessica Landgraf she would immediately report a cab driver if she were ever propositioned.

“Yes, I’d feel uncomfortable, but I would still take a cab if I needed one,” she said. “I don’t think this should deter people from taking a taxi, especially when they’re doing it for safety reasons like getting transportation to and from bars.”