Hanoi Police have issued a warning to taxi drivers about a spate of violent robberies in the first two months of this year.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Minh Quang from Hanoi's Criminal Police, most of the thieves were young drug-addicts. He noted that they had become more and more reckless.

While the cash and goods stolen did not amount to much, the aggressiveness involved worried taxi companies and drivers.

Quang said the robbers usually hired taxi cabs at night and asked drivers to take them to deserted places, where they suddenly attack the driver.

On the night of January 20, taxi driver Cao Xuan Huynh, who parked in My Dinh resident area, was asked by a youth to drive him to Le Duc Tho Street. After getting on board, the passenger kept asking him to turn into small, dark lanes.

When they went down one alley, the passenger attacked the driver with a knife and demanded cash. The driver escaped and asked passersby for help.

In the first two months, drivers reported four aggravated taxi robberies in Thanh Xuan district.

And there were many other similar attacks across the nation, police said.

Recently, police in central Quang Ngai province reported taxi robberies.

Hanoi Police and taxi companies are now considering steps to train taxi drivers in self protection.

Police also asked taxi companies to equip every taxi with a global positioning system (GPS) which have proved useful in finding thieves and preventing robberies, said Quang.-VNA