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Man arrested in San Francisco cab heists worked from home

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He not only needed cash, but apparently a ride home. The man arrested on suspicion of committing several armed robberies of taxi drivers at the same Western Addition intersection happens to live in the very neighborhood where the crimes occurred.

Woodrow Blake, 48, of San Francisco, was recently arrested on two counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery, police spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield said.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in San Francisco Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon.

Blake’s arrest came after police warned cabbies about an armed suspect wanted in connection with more than a half-dozen robberies in The City since July 14.  

At least four of the robberies occurred at the same intersection of Beideman and O’Farrell streets in the Western Addition. Drivers claim as many as six occurred at the location.

Police have not said whether Blake lives in the neighborhood, only that he is “very familiar” with the area. But a man with the same name and date of birth is listed on California’s Sex Offender Registry as living in the neighborhood. Blake is listed elsewhere as living in a large apartment complex located at Beideman and O’Farrell.

“It could be argued that he needed a ride,” Dangerfield said.

The Woodrow Blake listed in the state’s sex registry has a past conviction for assault with intent to commit a sex offense.

In a robbery last week, the suspect in the cabbie heists hailed a cab at 18th and Castro streets, then held a knife to a 56-year-old cabdriver’s neck and demanded cash after being dropped off at Beideman and O’Farrell, police said.

The suspect has picked up cabs from 18th and Castro streets multiple times, and has also hailed cabs from the area of Geary Boulevard and Fillmore Street, near the Boom Boom Room nightclub, police said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com