An UberX driver has been accused of dropping off a passenger at the airport last week and then returning to her home in Denver to break in. The driver’s attempt wasn’t successful, but does expose a danger when using ride-sharing services.
Uber, a San Francisco-based company valued at $17 billion last year, said last December that it planned to use biometrics, lie detectors, voice fingerprinting and other high-tech means to verify identities and conduct background checks on potential drivers.
Denver police told the Denver Post they weren’t aware of any crime sprees committed by UberX drivers or passengers.
Gerald Montgomery, 51, was taken into custody on Tuesday for suspicion of second-degree burglary. The break-in took place last Thursday at the rider’s home near the University of Denver. Montgomery tried to break into the home through the back door, according to the police report. He ran when someone inside the home spotted him.
Uber officials spoke with Montgomery’s passenger and refunded her ride. They also deactivated Montgomery’s account. "We have been in contact with the Denver (Police Department) and have shared information to assist in their investigation," the company said.
Word of the incident comes on the heels of the recent arrest of an Uber driver in India for allegedly raping a female passenger. Uber is facing a ban in a number of jurisdictions on the subcontinent as a result.
Last year, Uber said it was increasing its safety standards.
“Putting safety first for each of the one million trips we are doing every day means setting strict safety standards, then working hard to improve them every day,” Phil Cardenas, head of global safety at Uber, said in a blog post in December. “We owe it to all our riders, driver partners and communities around the world to examine what we can do better and then do everything we can to make more progress on safety.”
Along with the new safety technologies, Cardenas verified that Uber will be cooperating with local law enforcement and officials to ensure riders feel safe. He also promised Uber would increase the number of cities and countries where background checks are conducted.