LANGLEY PARK, Md. — Three suspects have been arrested by Prince George's County Police following a series of armed robberies targeting independent taxi drivers in Langley Park, Maryland.
Omar Hernandez, 20, and Jose Linares-Hernandez, 20, have been linked to five of the armed robberies. Investigators say the incidents occurred from Dec. 12, 2022 until Jan. 2. Both suspects from Adelphi are being held without bond.
In a separate case, a 15-year-old was also charged for allegedly robbing two taxi drivers at knifepoint earlier this year. Prince George's County Police says they are still investigating other incidents in the area with similar behavior.
According to police, the suspects have been contacting the independent service provider for a ride, and once they are in the car they rob the driver at gun or knifepoint before running away.
An independent taxi driver that asked to remain anonymous for safety told WUSA9 that he was robbed and then stabbed by two men after telling them he had no more money to give them. The driver says he picked up the pair on Dec. 28 and that a couple minutes into the drive, they both drew knives; one of the suspects put a knife to his neck, the other to his ribs.
"One of them told me to give him more money, but I told him I didn't have more," the driver said. "So he got the knife, and he stabbed me on the right side. It was a large knife, and I just started to bleed out."
The driver says he received 45 stitches on the wound on his stomach and another five on the one on his ribs. He says that there is a reason independent taxi drivers like him are being targeted.
"Because they know we carry cash," the driver said.
Independent taxi drivers can be found at almost every shopping center in Langley Park. The majority of the drivers only speak Spanish and cater to a primarily Latino clientele.
Three weeks after being stabbed, the driver is back on the street working. He says the men that stabbed him are still on the loose. The victim says early Friday morning, he saw the two men walking near the area where he waits for calls, and he followed the suspects to attempt to get a photograph for police. He says that when they noticed what he was doing, they instantly recognized him, and one of the suspects threw a hammer at his door. Both incidents have been reported to Prince George's County Police.
An hour after sharing his testimony, Prince George's County Police apprehended an individual in the 7900 block of 15th Avenue in Langley Park. Taxi drivers told WUSA9, that the suspect was involved in the Dec. 28 stabbing at that he has been harassing them for weeks. PGPD, however, has not confirmed whether the suspect in custody is linked to the series of armed robberies targeting independent taxi drivers.