Uber Thief in Viral Video Pleads for End to Cyberbullying

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
November 15, 2017 Updated: November 16, 2017

A female rider caught stealing from an Uber driver’s tip jar in a viral video says she’s now facing death threats and drastic sexual harassment.

Some of the teen’s online critics called her “bad” and a “disgusting human being.”

But some of the comments are downright scary, and include explicit rape threats.

The footage that sparked the torrent of reprimand shows Gabrielle Canales, 18, in an Uber car with two friends, snatching dollars from the jar while brazenly looking into the car’s security camera.

Epoch Times Photo
At the end of the ride, Canales reaches into the driver’s tip jar. (YouTube screenshot)
Epoch Times Photo
As her friends exit the vehicle and the driver is looking out the side window, Canales grabs a fistful of bills. (YouTube screenshot)
Epoch Times Photo
She snatches the cash and bolts. She apparently returned what she stole later that day by tipping the driver through the Uber app. (YouTube screenshot)

The 18-year-old admits to making a mistake and says she deserves criticism for her actions.

“I understand I’m completely wrong and I’m not denying it,” she told BuzzFeed.

But the increasingly vicious backlash has got her unnerved.

Epoch Times Photo
Canales says she’s received a torrent of online hate after the incident and it’s not letting up. (Instagram)

“I understand I’m going to get hate from a lot of people and that’s something I accepted, but I don’t think it’s OK to disrespect me as female.”

“I’m wrong for taking $5, and according to the world, I need to die,” she said, according to BuzzFeed.

Canales says she regretted her actions immediately after the incident and that she promptly returned the stolen money. But she mocked all the backlash because it happened three months ago.

“The lesson was learned that same day. That’s why the gentleman was paid back,” she said, according to BuzzFeed. She even posted an Uber receipt on her Instagram profile showing that she gave back the $5 she says she had taken.

Epoch Times Photo

“It was me being childish,” she said. “To the Uber driver, my sincere apologies.”

But the outpouring of reprimand on the woman’s Twitter account is anything but apologetic.

Epoch Times Photo

Canales says she understands people are upset by what she’s done and acknowledges their right to voice their opinions. At the same time, she insists her apology is sincere and wants the drastic toxicity that seeps through in some of the posts to stop.

“I would just like to apologize once again because what I did was foolish and uncalled for.”

“I hope people understand that this isn’t my character and it was just a bad choice I made over the summer.”

 

Before you go

In September, a McDonald’s manager was fired after she confronted a customer and called him a racial slur. She then tried to grab the customer’s phone as she spotted him recording this video.

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Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'