Man attempts taxi robbery with police car behind him

READING, Pa. — Taxi surveillance cameras recorded a masked man robbing a terrified taxi driver at gunpoint – but the robber forgot to look behind him.

Waiting behind the cab was Berks County Deputy Sheriff Terry Ely, who became suspicious after the car failed to move as the traffic light turned green multiple times.

Little did he know, the cameras inside the car, mounted on the ceiling recorded 18-year-old Victor Martinez-Herrera demanding, “Give me all your money man! Give me everything you got!” while pointing what appeared to be a pistol at the taxi driver's head, according to officials.

The shaken driver, Ralph Valletta, handed over $11, telling Martinez-Herrera that he had just started his shift and had no cash. Finally, the deputy decided to flash his lights and head towards the car to see what was happening.

“When he approached the vehicle he heard yelling,” Sheriff Eric J. Weaknecht said. “The deputy saw the defendant in the back seat with a handful of money, he couldn’t see the gun at first.”

As the deputy approached the car, Martinez-Herrera yelled “fake gun” and put his hands up, complying with Ely’s orders to get on the ground.

Amazed at his own luck and the timing of the officer, Valletta exclaimed, “You’re a lifesaver, oh my God!”

Martinez-Herrera faces charges of robbery, terroristic threats and simple assault and is being held on $100,000 bail at the Berks County Jail.