Alleged cabbie kidnapping ringleader nabbedBy Michelle Durand
A man who orchestrated the kidnapping and robbery of a cab driver by two others and later picked them up from the scene is actually a coworker of the victim, according to prosecutors.
Raj Singh, 30, knew the taxi driver and planned for two men to rob him at gunpoint after he picked them up at a Menlo Park bar, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
Singh, of San Jose, was arrested Nov. 4, a day after the other two, and will appear in court this afternoon to identify his court-appointed attorney and enter a plea to charges including kidnapping for the purpose of robbery, robbery and carjacking.
If convicted, Singh faces a life sentence.
Although Singh is not accused of personally participating in the Aug. 31 incident, he can be considered equally responsible under the aiding and abetting theory, Wagstaffe said.
Authorities say Rajinbder Kumar, 25, and Balraj Singh, 48, both of Fremont, called the cab driver's cell phone several times to arrange a late pickup at the British Bankers Club. The driver later reported that they directed him to Daly City but first stopped at a Redwood City apartment complex where they went inside momentarily. Back in the cab, the driver said he was told to use surface streets in Millbrae to reach San Bruno.
At one point, one of the passengers reportedly drew a handgun and ordered the driver to the back seat where he was held with the weapon to his head while the other passenger drove the cab.
After the back seat passenger took the cab driver's cell phone and wallet, they warned him not to move for 15 minutes and left, the driver reported.
The driver later reported hearing the man walk to another car and drive off.
Raj Singh is the man who picked them up and who set up the crime, Wagstaffe said.
The three defendants were found by tracing the calls made to the driver's cell phone and between each other, according to Wagstaffe.
"This is a case that is built on cell phone records," he said.
All three men are being held without bail. Although Raj Singh was arrested and charged separately, prosecutors anticipate joining the cases at a later point.
Copyright ©2010 San Mateo Daily Journal. Published 11/12/2010.