Cops: Uber driver steals gold necklace worth thousands off customer’s neck

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 17-year-old boy’s necklace was brazenly ripped off his neck by an Uber driver early Sunday morning, according to deputies.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call around 2:25 a.m., and met the victim, Jared Combs and his friend at a residence on 2664 Wildwood Lane.

The victim told deputies he and his friend caught an Uber home from another friend’s house.  When they got out of the Uber, he says the driver started mumbling something about the fare being canceled, and that he wasn’t going to get paid.

The driver then became agitated and demanded money, and the two parties began arguing.

Before Combs or his friend could reason with the driver, deputies tell us the driver jumped out the vehicle and ripped a gold chain off of the other passenger’s neck.  The necklace is valued between $3,000-$5,000.

“It was actually my chain I let my friend wear and he was running back to the car and by the time I knew what was going on he was out of here by the time I knew what was going on,” Combs told News Channel 8.

According to the Uber app, the driver’s name is “Alexander.” Investigators later identified the driver as 28-year-old Alexander Troy.

When detectives showed up at Troy’s residence, located at 5001 Foxbridge Circle North in Clearwater, they found the gold chain sitting in his car.

Detectives say the damage to the necklace was consistent with the victim’s claims. They also verified the victim’s ride was in fact paid for.

Troy was taken into custody and transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.

He’s been charged with one count of strong arm robbery.  He was released on a $10,000 bond.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Sergeant Spencer Gross with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said this should be a reminder to anyone who uses a ride-share service.

“Drivers are at risk, passengers are at risk, and that is always going to be an issue. You have total strangers coming to pick you up or getting in your vehicle.”

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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