While Uber does perform background checks on its drivers before taking them on, the backgrounds check only checks the past, it cannot predict the future and as such, drivers might become criminals if the pressure is on them. Having stated this, it's the same for any rideshare company, taxi service, bus, and airplane service. The pressures of life hit all of us at one time, and some of us might do some stupid things. This was the case of Christian Kirby Noda, ad 21-year-old from Hillsborough County in Florida.
This young Uber driver picked up Hayat Brancheau a 74-year-old Uber customer from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino at 9pm. During the ride, Christian told Hayat that he needed to stop the car to check the tires, and stopped the car in Tampa at 3939 N. Hwy 301. As the driver was dealing with the tire, a masked man approached the car and threatened Hayat at gunpoint to get out of the right front seat she was sitting on and to get into the back of the car. Hayat complied with the man's demands in fear of her life. Christian got into the front seat and allegedly said to Hayat "Do what he wants, she has a gun." The masked man ordered the driver to stop off at a number of banks to withdraw cash from the ATM's as well as take $1,000 in poker chips from Hayat's purse. The assailant then ordered the driver to stop at the Dover Speedway Gas Station on 12877 E. Hwy 92. He then ordered Hayat out of the car and then switched seats with Christian and drove off.
The police found out that Hayat's debit card was used to withdraw sums of money from a number of ATM machines along Pol and Osceola Counties.
An interesting turn of events was that the driver, Christian Noda turned himself into the Police and stated that he was the mastermind of the crime. He also stated that the gun was fake and that all he wanted to do was steal money from an Uber passenger. The police found the poker chips on his person.
The Hillsborough County Sheriffs office are calling anyone that might have any information that will lead to the capture of the second man, a black male. Any leads will be rewarded with a cash reward from Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at http://www.crimestopperstb.com or send a mobile tip using their P3 Tips Mobile application, which is download for free to iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. Tippers must call Crime Stoppers first to be eligible for a reward.