Duo facing charges in Cheektowaga cab thefts

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — “They robbed the cabbie then ran and hid and then tried to flee the area by stealing a cab, a second cab,” said Cheektowaga Police Assistant Chief Jim Speyer.

Jose Rodriguez, 26, and Magali Santigo, 38, both of Buffalo appeared in Cheektowaga Town Court today for a laundry list of charges including burglary and grand larceny. Both are accused of robbing a cab driver in Cheektowaga on Monday.

“They got into an argument, the cab driver stopped and said if you’re not going to pay me and we can’t agree on a price then get out of my cab,” said Speyer.

That’s when Rodriguez claimed he had a gun, and took the drivers money. This happened on Harlem Road where both Santigo and Rodriguez took off and hid, but then Rodriguez made another stop at a repair shop on Maryvale Drive nearby.

Julie Lopiccolo was there, when he showed up with erratic behavior.

“He kept saying I have a gun, I have to get out of Cheektowaga, I have a gun I got to get out of here, I got to get out of here,” said Julie Lopiccolo, Green Cab Transportation dispatcher.

She says it all happened so fast she barely had time to realize what happened next.

“He tried to take my husband’s van and then he proceeded to hit my husband cause my husband wouldn’t take him. Then he came back in and I went to call the cops, he stole my keys and took my van,” said Lopiccolo.

Rodriguez drove it to Buffalo’s west side where he was eventually arrested. Now both Santigo and Rodriguez are behind bars.

“To pull off a robbery number one and then to just go and steal a cab goes to show how desperate these people must’ve been,” said Speyer.

Police say no gun was ever found on Rodriguez, but police did find a discarded crack pipe.

The judge set bail at 5 thousand cash for both Rodriguez and Santigo. They’ll be back in court on Friday for a felony hearing.

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