Taxi Staff Help Missing Man Get Home

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 11:38 a.m. November 2, 2020

A Beck taxi driver and three other Beck employees were recognized with Toronto Police Certificates of Appreciation for helping to reunite a missing senior with family members.

A group of people holding certificates alongside TPS officers
Beck Taxi employees were honoured by 43 Division officers for making sure a missing senior was able to get home safely

On Saturday October 17 at around 12.06 p.m., an 85-year-old man boarded a TTC southbound bus in the Markham Rd. and Markanna Drive area.

When he didn’t return home, family members became concerned and contacted Toronto Police.

As the man’s son was canvassing the area near Warden Subway station, a TTC operator notified him that he had seen a man fitting the description of his elderly father jumping into a Beck Taxi.

The man’s granddaughter contacted the taxi service.

“I took the phone call from her and then reported back to our team leader Sarah Sheahan who searched for the driver who might have been in the area at the time,” said Shane Ott, who is a customer service representative.

Dispatcher Kimberlee Martin reached out to the driver who had good news for her.

“I called the driver immediately and asked if he had a man named ‘Harry’ in his car and he said ‘yes, I do’,” said Martin. “I also asked him if the man was wearing a straw hat and he said, ‘yes’. I told the driver to stay where he was and I am contacting the police right away.”

Driver Yassir Muhammad Ladah said the man, who he picked up near Warden Subway Station, was in his taxi for almost 90 minutes.

“At first, he told me he was living close to Kennedy Station and when I got there, he then said he lived at 16 McCowan Rd,” the taxi operator recounted. “I went there and realized he didn’t live there, so I drove him to 41 Division.”

It was then that Ladah got in contact with Beck and realized he had a missing man in his car.

“They said I should remain where I was,” said the driver, who waited for officers to arrive.

Supt. Dave Rydzik presented the certificates to the Beck employees Kimberlee Martin, Sarah Sheahan, Shane Ott and Yassir Muhammad Ladah on October 27 at 43 Division for their teamwork in getting the missing man home.

“We want people to get involved without putting their lives in jeopardy,” he said.  “It’s about doing the right thing to keep your community safe and, in this case, we are thankful that this man got home safely and in a timely fashion.”

The Unit Commander said the Service takes missing persons cases very seriously

“We have got procedures that dictate our levels of search,” he added. “With a missing elderly like that who is a little bit confused and might have dementia and things like that, we immediately go to a Level 2 search which means we send resources up to the address and do a search in and around there. This was going to Level 3 which meant we were going to bring resources in from all over the city.”

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