CRIME

Uber Driver Allegedly Tried Burglarizing Passenger After Drop-Off

03/31/2015 06:44 pm ET | Updated May 31, 2015

By Keith Coffman

DENVER, March 31 (Reuters) - Police arrested a 51-year-old driver for the Uber car service on Wednesday who is accused of trying to burglarize a Denver woman's home after he dropped her off at the city's airport, authorities said.

Gerald Montgomery was taken into custody in the suburb of Golden after a warrant was issued for him on suspicion of attempted burglary, Denver police spokeswoman Christine Downs said.

Police say he drove the woman to Denver International Airport last week, but then allegedly returned to the home in the south of the city where he had picked her up and tried to break in through the back door.

Montgomery did not realize his passenger had a roommate who was still in the house, and he fled when the "homeowner observed his actions," according to a police report.

Uber representative Taylor Patterson said the company immediately suspended Montgomery after it learned of the incident.

"We spoke with the rider, refunded her ride and informed her that the driver has been deactivated," Patterson said in a statement. "We remain committed to supporting Denver law enforcement in any way we can."

Patterson said drivers must undergo "full criminal and driving history background checks," which include local, federal and multistate screenings.

Uber drivers use their own vehicles, which the company says gives consumers access to a cheaper means of transport than traditional taxicabs.

But the San Francisco-based company, now among the most valuable U.S. start-ups, is facing mounting legal challenges from drivers, passengers and the government.

Uber drivers in Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., and other cities have been arrested for assaulting passengers, prompting multiple lawsuits from victims.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Eric Beech)

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