A 65-year-old woman accused of stealing a cab was arrested Thursday morning after police stopped her and found she had picked up passengers, authorities said.
"I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before," Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters. He called the crime "bizarre."
Betty Thomas, of the 100 block of East Mayland Street, East Germantown, was charged Thursday with car theft, theft of services, receiving stolen property, terroristic threats and unauthorized use of an auto. She was released on her own recognizance after her arraignment Thursday night.
Police gave this account:
Thomas caught a Freedom cab in Germantown around midnight and asked to be taken to the SugarHouse Casino on the waterfront in Fishtown.
En route, she asked to stop to buy water at a gas station at Broad Street and Hunting Park Avenue in Nicetown-Tioga.
There the driver got in dispute about the fare with Thomas, "who proceeded to get into the driver's seat and drove southbound on Broad Street."
Police broadcast a description of the cab. About a half-hour later, officers stopped the car in front of the 24th and 25th District headquarters on Whitaker Avenue in North Philadelphia.
A 23-old-woman and her infant daughter were in the rear seat. The woman told police she was a legitimate would-be fare-paying passenger.
No one was hurt.
"An unusual job with a happy ending," Small said.