A TAXI boss has pleaded with criminals to stop targeting his cabbies’ equipment.
Over the last eight months around half a dozen computers have been stolen after thieves smashed their way into cars belonging to taxi company C-Cabs.
And company director George Robinson today issued a plea to those responsible for the thefts – and warned them the computer systems are worthless outside the taxi industry.
Mr Robinson told The Gazette: “It is a little PDA system (personal digital assistant) and we’ve had quite a few stolen, but they are no good to anybody.
“They are only for taxis but people think when they see them they are sat- navs and they might be valuable to sell on.
“But they will not work anywhere other than in our cars because if you plug them in outside the taxi you can’t switch them on.”
Despite the computers being worthless to the criminals and the general public, to C-Cabs and their drivers the equipment is valuable as they need them to do their job.
Each one is worth around £500 – and has to be replaced by the firm, based on Caunce Street, Blackpool, when stolen to allow the driver to carry on working.
Mr Robinson added: “All the computers do is deliver a message from our office which gives the driver their jobs and tells them their destination – it doesn’t do anything else.
“It is a pain when they are taken because we have to send out for another one from London and they cost £500 for us to replace, unless the driver has them insured. If the driver was to drop it and break it we would have to charge them £500 – that is how much they are worth to the driver, but they aren’t worth that to anybody else. The thieves think they are taking a sat-nav but they are not.”
The latest theft occurred around two weeks ago on Duchess Drive, Bispham, when a taxi which had been left parked overnight was broken into and the computer stolen.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said they were investigating all the thefts and appealed for anyone who may have been offered the unusual devices to come forward.
She added: “We would appeal to anyone who has any information they think might help with our investigation.
“In particular, if anyone has been offered anything at all similar for sale or recognises an item somewhere that they believe could be one of these computers then we would ask them to get in touch with us.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Blackpool Police by calling 101 or alternatively, information can be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.