Cheapest Man Alive? Guy Refuses To Pay $12 Cab Fare While Carrying $5,000 In Cash

If your cabbie is unable to bring you to a store selling cheap cigarettes, you should still pay him the $12.40 for the ride. That’s not what one man thought, say police in Syracuse, N.Y. His cabbie failed him during a quest for cheap cigarettes, and he reportedly refused to pay up — even though he was carrying $5,000 in cash.

The Post-Standard says the 68-year-old man asked a cab driver to bring him to three stores on Monday. Each time, says the arrest report, he’d come back to the cab empty-handed, claiming the cigarettes were too expensive. After the third store, the cabbie asked for the fare and the man refused.

Yes, arrest report — he was charged with theft of services, a misdemeanor, when he told the cabbie to call the police over the disputed $12.40 fare. When police arrived, the man became uncooperative and still wouldn’t pay.

He was placed in handcuffs and searched, which is when the cops discovered the $5K in cash he was carrying, says the arrest report. He declined to tell the police why he was so flush with cash, or why he was being so dang stingy.

*Thanks for the tip, Rowell!

Man stiffs cabbie of $12.40 fare, but had $5,000 in his pockets, Syracuse police say [The Post-Standard]


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  1. Such an Interesting Monster says:


  2. Hoss says:

    $12 fare?. I don’t think I could leave the driveway here in Boston for under $25

    • madrigal says:

      I know! I can’t wait to take the cab to Logan early Sunday morning.

      • and_another_thing says:

        Way back in I visited a friend in Boston but didn’t learn enough about the T before I arrived. I paid $23 in cab fare to reach my friend’s abode and $0.75 in T fare to return to Logan for my departure.

        I’d bet that the T is still cheaper than a taxi.

        • madrigal says:

          My flight is early in the morning though, and the first red line train leaves Alewife at 6:08 on Sundays.

    • El_Fez says:

      In Seattle, that’s what it costs to start the meter.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      It is the City of Syracuse where a decent house can be purchased for $100k, don’t be surprised that the cab fare is less than a major city. Heck, I could never find a cab when I wanted one, and that was “downtown”.

  3. Costner says:

    He had the cash precisely because he was so “dang stingy”. Read a book called “The Millionaire Next Door” and you will soon realize most people that have money don’t have it because they make more than anyone else… they have it because they don’t spend it.

    Doesn’t explain why the idiot felt the need to drive around shopping for cheap smokes though. In fact, a great way to save money on cigarettes is to stop smoking. But whatever.

    • philpm says:

      Thing is, there’s an Indian reservation just outside of Syracuse where he could have easily saved himself a fair amount of money on his smokes.

    • xanadustc says:

      Millionaire Next Door is a book that covers general success principles…theft of service is not a way that the author suggests makes people wealthy :)

  4. Cat says:

    Maybe he was planning to buy $5000 worth of cheap cigarettes to re-sell?

    Also, if you are a smoker, you KNOW where the cheap cigarettes are.

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      Yep – the indian reservation down the road. :)

      • BurtReynolds says:

        Are they that cheap? Last I knew the store’s price was barely lower than a gas station. I’m sure we are all talking about the same place, I can’t remember the name though. My buddies who still live in Syracuse get them on base.

    • jetsaredim says:

      exactly what i was thinking

    • Firethorn says:

      Good point. The money, combined with ‘didn’t come back with anything’ makes me think the following scenarios are likely:
      1. Wasn’t after cigarettes, was after drugs. ‘too expensive’ either meant ‘no dealer there’, or that the non-nicotine drugs were indeed, too expensive(For him)
      2. Was selling drugs, the ‘cigs too expensive’ was an excuse. In which case – pay the dang cabbie! Slightly discounted over #1 due to the cabbie stopping before the guy was done, but the cops still not finding any drugs.
      3. The guy is just crazy stingy, in a ‘penny wise pound foolish’ way. An arrest is more expensive than paying the cab fare; and, speaking generally, driving to multiple different places isn’t going to net you a price lower enough to justify visiting multiple stores. Most likely option.
      4. The guy was searching for illegal untaxed cigs(2nd most likely).

  5. Scrutinizer says:

    Should have walked a mile for a camel

  6. MrObvious says:

    This guy obviously has issues, but the amount of money one has in their pocket is completely irrelevant. If a millionaire gets bad service do they lose their right to complain?

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      In this situation I think it’s perfectly relevant. He wasn’t refusing to pay because he was unable to pay, he was refusing because he’s cheap and feels entitled to other people’s time and effort for free.

    • mrscoach says:

      The amount of money he had in his is completely relevant, since he failed to pay for a service rendered. We’re not talking about bad service and not leaving a tip, we’re talking about refusal to pay for something he received. It isn’t the cab driver’s fault the cigarettes weren’t cheap enough at the stores, he drove the man to where he wanted to go. Period. If the cab driver had taken him across town to someplace completely different from where the man wanted to go, I would have said he deserved to get stiffed, but he rendered the service requested.

      • MrObvious says:

        It doesn’t matter if he had $20 or $5000 on him, he is just an idiot and just as cheap either way.

  7. JMK from CT says:

    Isnt cheap cigarettes sort of an oxymoron now?

  8. Almighty Peanut says:

    he probably had that money to pay a randsom for his wife and kid. they’re probably going to die now!

    • Brainswarm says:

      Let me guess. A local teenage gang kidnapped her and won’t let her go unless he gives them fifty cartons of smokes? Now he’s going from store to store to find someone who will sell him cartons for $100 apiece.

  9. Malik says:

    Well, if you refused to pay for anything, you too could walk around with $5K in your wallet.

    It’s when you choose to honor those pesky debts that you have to settle for having less in your pocket

  10. Bsamm09 says:

    I bet he was looking for one of those places that sell cartons of smokes smuggled in from other states with forged tax stamps and wanted to purchase a lot for resale.

    Pro tip – when interacting with the public while committing a crime, you must not draw attention to your self and try to be forgetful as possible. Not tipping or over tipping would be something that could make someone remember you.

    (I assume he was doing this as I watched a Law & Order: SVU last night that had cigarette smuggling in it)

  11. winstonthorne says:

    There’s something seriously wrong with this guy. In that area, you’re never more than a couple miles away from a reservation, where gas, cigarettes, etc. (anything with built-in excessive taxes) are wicked cheap. FAIL on multiple counts.

  12. PunditGuy says:

    Take. He asked the cabbie to take him to three stores.

  13. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Sounds like he needs a psych eval.

  14. rugman11 says:

    It’s nice to see Roger Sterling’s still alive and kicking.

  15. Quixiotic... Yea it's a typo (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻ says:

    Maybe he’s going around offin’ people a la Collateral…

  16. Harry Greek says:

    “Yes, arrest report —”

    There should be no surprise over this. How is skipping out on services rendered something you should not be punished for?

    If the cabbie’s meter ran, but he didn’t take the passenger where he wanted to go, then yes, he had every right to refuse paying.

    How is this even deemed as “bad service” by some of you? Cabbies take you from point A to point B. They are not concierges. And, they aren’t responsible for finding you deals.

    I am all for fighting for the consumer, but in this case, it sounds like the consumer is a total ass.

  17. MarkFL says:

    We don’t know if the $5000 was actually his. It may have belonged to a friend or his employer. If it was his employer’s cash, it may very well be the kind of business where you don’t tap the till — at least not more than once.

    Or…when I was in college, I spent a summer working at a brokerage. Part of that time I was a runner, and it didn’t take long to realize that the envelopes I was carrying usually contained thousands, tens of thousands, or possibly even hundreds of thousands of dollars in securities. And I suspect there was sometimes cash in there, too. I didn’t look because I figured if I knew what was in there, I’d be too scared to walk around Manhattan.