An Uber driver is facing felony grand larceny charges, fines and prison time, all because a rider seemingly wasn’t patient enough to wait for the driver to return the iPhone he left in her car. The rider went so far as to show up at 3:30 am looking for her. Adding insult to injury, the rideshare driver was arrested, hours after she’d already returned the phone to a local police precinct.
When Sylvia Hogge, an Uber driver in coastal Virginia, picked up Travis Price Nov. 3rd, she likely had no idea she was going to be taken on a ride through hell on earth. Hogge, a mother of four, and Uber driver for two years picked up and dropped off Price at the agreed upon locations. But what Hogge didn’t know, and what Price realized minutes later, was that the rider accidentally left his iPhone in her minivan.
Hogge went about her business of picking up and dropping off passengers on the busy November night, unaware Price left his phone in her car until she heard it ringing in the back seat. She retrieved it. Placed it in a safe location, and then got a call from Price. She said he demanded his phone back immediately.
It was him saying I needed to stop everything I was doing and bring him his phone immediately. I told him I could not because I had a passenger in the vehicle and I would get up with him first thing in the morning to return it to him.
Even though Uber’s lost item policy is for the forgetful party and the driver to agree upon a mutually approved location and time to return the left behind items, Price was being unreasonable, even making threats, Hogge said. The Uber driver said Price was being forceful, threatening to “track” her every movement until she brought the phone to him.
I knew that it had something to do with his phone. I was scared not just for myself, but for my passengers because if he was tracking everything, he would see here I would stop for pickups, he would see here I stopped for drop offs
But Hogge says after the person she would only identify as “Travis”, showed up reportedly drunk, at the home of her children’s father, she said she then feared for her safety and the safety of her children.
He told me there was a gentleman on his front step, banging on his door demanding to know where his phone is. I not only feared for his safety, but my children were sleeping there as well
Instead of meeting the drunk and belligerent man, who’d already traced the vehicle to the home it was registered to, and was banging on the door at 3:30 am, all of which is unreasonable, she thought of a safer option she believed. She decided to take the phone to a local Virginia Beach police station and leave it there for Price to retrieve. Here’s a photo she took of Price’ iPhone at the window of the police precinct, as she was dropping it off.
Hours later, much to her surprise, Hogge was told to come back to the police station to be arrested for theft of the cell phone Price left in her car. Yes, that’s right. Even after she’d returned the phone to the police, she was arrested for its theft. Price had asked for and received a warrant for her arrest. Here’s a copy of the warrant for her arrest.
Hogge was notified of the warrant for her arrest by a police detective’s phone call the morning after she’d already turned in the phone. She didn’t ignore the warrant but took some time to contact Uber, a federal agent friend, and others.
I called a federal officer I know and he said I needed to turn myself in right then and there. I made arrangements for my children, spent 3 hours on the phone with Uber (to come up with zero help from them) and finally turned myself in between 9pm and 930pm. I was released between 11pm and 1130pm.
How the police were unable to put two and two together, and drop the charges against Hogge is incredulous, to say the least. Nevertheless, Hogge was arrested hours after she’d turned in the cell phone to the Virginia Beach police department. Not only did she return the lost phone to a government authority capable of returning it to its rightful owner, but she was arrested after the fact. As a result, both police departments are likely liable for false arrest.
She told TFTP the police officers didn’t want to arrest her.
they didn’t want to arrest me to begin with. Never was cuffed, never was put in a cell.
Hogge set up a YouCaring page and is only asking for $5000 to defend herself in court. She says she’s not going to risk her future career in information technology by attempting to represent herself before the judge. To date, she’s only received $260 towards her $5000 goal.
She has a warning for other rideshare drivers out there:
I just want everyone to know, that this could happen to anyone at any point in time. I need everyone to know that if you have a left item in your vehicle, a report it to Uber, and return it to the police station immediately.
Here’s the story as first reported by Va Beach’ WKTR News 3.
Hodge says both she and her ex will be suing. For the record, she never gave TFTP his full name, only referring to him as “Travis.” However, we were able to ascertain his identity through comments left behind on social media. Also, Ms. Hodge’s attorney told her Mr. Price picked up his phone on the 6th of November but is apparently still pressing charges.