TAMPA, Fla. – Hillsborough County deputies are searching for a second suspect involved in a strategic Uber robbery, kidnapping on Halloween night.
On Tuesday, a 74-year-old woman ordered an Uber at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino around 9 p.m. The Uber driver, Christian Kirby Noda, 21, picked up the victim to drive her back to her residence. Noda, of Orlando, told the victim he needed to check the air of his vehicle’s tires and stopped at a Shell gas station off of Highway 301, in Tampa.
The arrest report states: “While [Noda] was attending to his vehicle, a masked black male, approached the vehicle and told the victim, who was seated in the right front passenger seat, to exit the vehicle and get back into the backseat.”
The victim, who was in fear of her life, complied and sat in the backseat, according to deputies. Noda told the victim, “do what he says, he has a gun” and sat in the driver’s seat.
Deputies say that at that time, the unknown masked man ordered Noda to drive the vehicle to several banks and withdraw money from the victim’s debit card while the unknown male removed two five hundred dollar poker chips from the victim’s purse.
The unknown male and Noda drove the victim to a Speedway Gas Station in Dover and ordered her to exit the vehicle. Deputies say that Noda and the unknown male switched seats and the unknown male drove the vehicle away.
Deputies determined that the victim’s debit card was used in several locations in Polk and Osceola Counties.
Upon interviewing Noda during a non-custodial interview, he told he was not a victim, but that he actually had planned to rob an Uber passenger. He stated that he specifically drove to Tampa from Orlando to find a passenger.
He told officials that this plan “was his strategy” and that his accomplice was armed with a replica firearm.
Deputies say that there is no evidence at this point that the victim was targeted prior to exiting the casino.
Post Miranda, Noda declined to make a statement. Deputies found the two missing poker chips in Noda’s possession.
Noda turned himself into authorities at the Osceola County Jail where he was charged with Armed Robbery and Armed Kidnapping. Deputies say they are still working to arrest the second suspect.