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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 10:42 GMT
'Cruel' taxi fare dodger hunted
Tyne Bridge, Newcastle
The man travelled in the taxi from Newcastle to central Scotland
A man who convinced a taxi driver to take him from Newcastle to Central Scotland then ran off without paying is being hunted by police.

During the four-hour journey from Newcastle Central Station to Banknock, the man ran up a three-figure fare.

After being driven to Hazel Road at about 0200 GMT on 30 December, the man disappeared without paying.

Police appealed for anyone who knows of someone who returned from Newcastle before Hogmanay to get in touch.

The man responsible was described as being about 17-years-old, 5ft 7in tall with short, brown hair.

'Out of pocket'

He was wearing a black jacket or jumper with blue jeans and was carrying a blue holdall.

It is understood the fare for the black Skoda Octavia taxi ran to just over 200.

The suspect, who spoke with a Scottish accent, gave the 29-year-old driver assurances that the fare would be paid but then ran off once they arrived at their destination.

Insp Paul Fleming, from Central Scotland Police, said: "This was a cruel act to play on somebody who was trying to make an honest living and who is now considerably out of pocket.

"We are continuing our enquiries into this incident and I am appealing to the public for any information they have that may help the police to solve this crime."

He asked anyone with information to contact Denny police on 01786 456000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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