Grand Junction police arrested an Uber driver Monday after he allegedly stole several debit cards from one of his customers earlier that morning.
Chukwuma Thankgod Okeke, 31, faces charges of second-degree burglary, unauthorized use of a financial transaction device and criminal possession of two or more financial devices. He appeared in Mesa County court Tuesday and was released on a personal recognizance bond but may not drive for either Uber or Lyft.
According to the arrest affidavit, the victim had taken an Uber home early Monday morning and fell asleep. When she awoke, she found she was missing three debit cards, an iPhone, an Apple watch and more than $300 in cash from her residence. The front door to her apartment was unlocked and there was no forced entry.
When accessing her bank account, she learned that someone had withdrawn cash at an ATM and tried to make a transaction at another bank.
Video surveillance of the ATMs showed that the victim's Uber vehicle and driver had visited the banks a few hours after dropping her off.
Okeke originally told police he was making a deposit at the ATMs, but later admitted he removed three debit cards from her wallet while giving her a ride home. He denied entering her apartment and stealing the iPhone and Apple watch. He said he successfully withdrew $200 at one ATM, but his second attempt at a different bank was unsuccessful. He then threw the debit cards away in a trash bin.
When asked how he knew the victim's PIN, Okeke said he asked the victim general questions about her age, date of birth and other information during the ride and was able to guess the correct number.
None of the other missing property belonging to the victim was located during a search of Okeke's vehicle and apartment.