A Comox Valley man has been sentenced to eight months in jail for the attempted robbery of a cab driver, three years after he brandished a knife and stole money from the very same man.
Raymundo De Jesus Francia-Vega was sentenced to eight months in jail and two years probation after he pleaded guilty to one count of attempt to commit robbery or accessory after the fact in the Sept. 22, 2012 incident which saw him drive away in a Comox Taxi after the driver fled the vehicle, fearful for his safety.
Francia-Vega had used a knife to rob the same driver in October 2009.
In the 2012 incident, Francia-Vega contacted the cab company to get a ride to the home of an acquaintance. At the time, he had just $5 in his pocket, but believed that his friend would pay for the cab ride when he arrived. However, Francia-Vega was unable to remember the exact location of his destination, and as a result he was unable to pay for his ride.
According to Crown counsel Robert Richardson, Francia-Vega then said something to the cab driver that indicated he was considering robbing the man.
The cabbie responded with words to the effect that "this wasn't going to happen again," but when Francia-Vega reached into his pocket, the cab driver decided to get out of his vehicle, mistakenly believing the man was reaching for a weapon.
Francia-Vega was not carrying a weapon nor did he plan ahead of time to steal the cab, said his lawyer, but when the cabbie vacated the vehicle he moved into the driver's seat and drove away. After driving around for some time, Francia-Vega parked the vehicle and left it.
The cab driver was able to provide police with a partial name and description of Francia-Vega because of his previous interactions with the man.
Francia-Vega was given eight months in jail and a probationary period of two years following his release. His lawyer has indicated that his client will be seeking residential treatment for substance abuse once he is released from jail.
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