DPSS reports armed robbery of Boober driver

Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 12:41pm

The Division of Public Safety and Security reported the armed robbery took place on the Diag near West Hall.

The Division of Public Safety and Security reported the armed robbery took place on the Diag near West Hall. Buy this photo
File Photo/Daily

Four individuals robbed a Boober bicycle taxi driver early Thursday morning on the University of Michigan campus, according to a crime alert sent out to students. 

The Division of Public Safety and Security reported the armed robbery took place on the Diag near West Hall, close to the intersection of South University Avenue and East University Avenue at about 2 a.m. One of the suspects pulled a handgun on the driver after the group of four was overheard saying they had no money to pay for their taxi ride. The suspects stole money and a blanket, and left the scene running north.

Four suspects were named in the crime alert and were caught on video days later: a white or light-skinned Black male, between 18 and 21 years of age last seen wearing a Detroit Pistons hat; a Black male, 18 to 21 years of age, with short dreadlocks last seen wearing a red shirt with a toy bandoleer over left shoulder; a white male, 18 and 21 years of age with short dark hair and a short beard; and a white male 18 to 21 years of age with a short beard. 

Any individuals with information on the suspects are encouraged to report details to DPSS. As of Thursday afternoon, the division had no updates on the suspects‘ whereabouts.

Boober Tours owner Kevin Spangler said the company hopes the suspects get the necessary help they need. He said the driver has forgiven the men.

“The driver has forgiven them and he just hopes they can find help for any problem they may have,” Spangler said. “(The driver) said he is happy it happened to him and not one of the students because it might have been worse for someone else.”

Spangler started his pedicab business two and a half years ago after struggling with homelessness and alcohol addiction. He began dealing drugs and faced five DUIs and a prison sentence. Following his release from prison, Spangler developed Boober Tours as a second chance business. He said Boober Tours opens its doors to those in trouble and looking to restart their lives just as he did. He now owns 20 pedicabs and said he is willing to welcome the four suspects to the business after they receive the help they need.

“I hope they can overcome whatever they need to overcome and if they get caught, or have already been caught, (that) they get the help they need,” Spangler said. “Boober Tours is a second chance job and Boober Tours is definitely there to help them out when they overcome their obstacles.”

Update: This story has been updated to include the comments of Boober Tours owner Kevin Spangler and a new lead from DPSS with a video of the suspects. This is a developing story. Check back at michigandaily.com for updates.