Officials at the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office say Terry Smith, 42, got into a taxi early Sunday morning with an intricate plan for robbing the driver that included asking to sit in the front seat because he was feeling sick.
The unsuspecting cab driver, later identified as Marc Bruzzese, allowed the seat switch. During the ride, Smith reportedly asked the driver if business was good. Then, at the end of the ride, he reached over and tried to grab Bruzzese’s wallet and cellphone, the Sun-Sentinel newspaper reported.
Although the driver managed to hang onto his belongings, Smith was able to get away. Initially, Bruzzese decided not to report the crime because he couldn’t identify his attacker.
Then, the cabbie found a wallet belonging to Smith on the floorboard, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
When deputies visited Smith’s house later that day, he wasn’t there, but they noticed him drive by, so they followed him until he stopped at a nearby parking lot and observed him shoving his girlfriend out of the passenger seat, the Daytona News Journal reported.
During questioning, Smith allegedly explained that he had lost his wallet days earlier and changed his story numerous times about where he’d been, according to the paper.