Sheriff: Uber driver arrested after helping rob 74-year-old passenger

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY -- An Uber driver is behind bars after deputies say the driver robbed and kidnapped a 74-year-old woman and had help from another man. They are still looking for the second man.

According to the press release, around 9 p.m. October 31, the woman ordered an Uber from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa. 21-year-old Christian Noda, the Uber driver, picked up the victim to take her home but the driver told the woman he needed to air up his tires at a gas station nearby.

While he was checking his tires, a masked man approached the vehicle and told the victim to get in the backseat. The woman agreed and the Uber driver stated, "Do what he says, he has a gun."

The unknown masked man ordered the Uber employee to drive to several banks and withdraw money from the woman's account while the driver removed two $500 poker chips from the woman's purse. The robber than ordered the driver to another gas station where they dropped the woman off. The two switched sets and they drove away. 

It was later discovered the victim's debit card was used in several locations in Polk and Osceloa Counties.

Upon investigation, the driver admitted he planned to rob an Uber passenger and said he drove to Tampa from Orlando to find a passenger. He said it was his "strategy" and his partner was armed with a replica firearm. 

Noda declined to give statment but turned himself in and was in possession of two missing poker chips. 

Anyone with any information reference the unidentified suspect is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 247-8200. 

 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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