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Sailors Allegedly Carjack, Burn Cab

By Margaret Lyons in News on May 27, 2008 7:32PM

Police say two sailors kidnapped a cab driver, carjacked his cab and drove it around Gurnee before setting the car on fire. Aaron Couch, 21, and Terry Gappa, 20, both face felony counts of theft of services, assault, theft of a vehicle and criminal damage to property.

Couch and Gappa hailed the cab near Union Station and wanted to go the Naval Station Great Lakes, which is about 40 miles away.

As the cabbie was approaching Great Lakes, the sailors told him to pull over and let them take over the cab, or they would kill him, Sheriff's Deputy Chief Kevin Parker said. They did not display a weapon.

The cabdriver...said he pulled over on an unknown street sometime before 10 p.m. and Gappa began driving, with the cabbie in the passenger seat and Couch in the back. The men -- who police say already appeared inebriated -- stopped at Jewel-Osco on Hunt Club Road in Gurnee, and Couch ran in to buy beer.

They then began driving north on Hunt Club. While they were driving the cabbie became concerned for his safety, because Gappa was driving erratically. As the cab began to slow near Thoroughbred Drive, the cabbie jumped out and ran to nearby home where police were called, Parker said.

Gappa and Couch were arrested as they walked away from the burning vehicle, which they allegedly told police they set on fire to destroy evidence. Gappa's MySpace page suggests he's familiar with "playing with fire." [CBS 2]