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Suspect Used Fake Gun During Robbery of Cab Driver

A tourist riding in a taxi cab has been accused of using a gun while robbing the driver of her personal items and money.

30-year-old Houston resident John Cleveland, who was reportedly visiting Florida on vacation, ordered a cab to pick him up from the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon around 2:00 am on October 4.

Isabel Samanez, the cab driver, arrived to retrieve Cleveland from the hotel to take him to Hallandale Beach as per his request, and she reported that nothing seemed out-of-sorts during the ride.

When they arrived at the place that he asked her to drop him off Cleveland allegedly pointed what appeared to be a sizeable gun at Samanez and ordered her to hand over her phone, money and computer tablet.

Cleveland allegedly departed the vehicle with $70 and Samanez’s electronic devices and she urgently alerted the authorities regarding the incident.

By using an app called Find My Phone the police were able to track down the location of the alleged victim’s iPhone which led them to Cleveland, who was reportedly sleeping inside of a car that he had broken into. He was allegedly found without his clothing on.

Samanez’s belongings were found near the car that Cleveland was reportedly resting in, and the police also discovered clothes that they believe belong to the suspect. A gun, which was found to be a phony, was also amongst the items recovered from the location.

While speaking with Cleveland, the police reported that he said that the gun was fake and that he had used it in the incident with the taxi driver. He was taken into custody and booked into the Broward County Main Jail in lieu of a $57,000 bond.

Cleveland is facing charges of armed robbery, burglary of a vehicle, grand theft, and destroying or tampering evidence.

If you or someone you love is suspected of a theft crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.