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The Teen Who Was Caught Stealing From An Uber Driver In A Viral Video Claims She’s Now Being Harassed

Gabrielle Canales wants to directly apologize to the Uber driver, and told BuzzFeed News, "What I did was foolish and uncalled for." But a lot of people are unforgiving.

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Last week, a surveillance video of a woman stealing tip money from an Uber driver surfaced on Reddit. The video then went viral on YouTube.

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It showed 18-year-old Gabrielle Canales from Long Island, New York, reaching into the driver's tip jar and taking a wad of cash.

Some questioned if the footage was staged, but Uber has confirmed the incident to BuzzFeed News. Canales also has admitted to the theft to BuzzFeed News, and said it occurred in August.

How the footage surfaced last week remains unclear.

Canales was soon identified by Daily Mail, among other outlets. The publication then found and published Instagram stories showing the teen mocking the publicity and outrage.

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The Daily Mail also published a series of Canales' photos from Instagram, describing her as a "scantily-clad Brooklyn woman" — although Canales is from Long Island.

"The footage went viral on Tuesday after reappearing online but Canales was remorseless and appeared to revel in her newfound infamy," the website wrote.

Canales told BuzzFeed News she immediately regretted her actions and she paid the driver back in tips that day. "I understand I'm completely wrong and I’m not denying it," she said.

Gabrielle Canales

"The lesson was learned that same day. That’s why the gentleman was paid back," she said, showing the receipt for $5 (the total she claimed she took from the jar).

"It was me being childish," she said of the theft. "To the Uber driver, my sincere apologies."

Uber could not confirm the tip amount or if it was paid back. But a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that they "have been contact with this driver to offer our support."

The company suspended Canales' account after the video went viral, and added, "What’s been shown has no place on our app and the rider’s access to the app has been removed.”

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Canales said she's been mocking the outrage because it was an incident that occurred over three months ago, and that she'd felt remorseful when it happened in August.

"I didn’t need this video to go viral to teach me a lesson. I learned the lesson that same day. Before the video went viral, the man was paid back."

"I apologize on the matter once again," she added.

But people on social media were not done expressing their anger over her actions. Her accounts and posts were quickly called out and trolled, including one in response to selfies she took.

this the broke ass bitch that stole the uber drivers tip jar $$$ https://t.co/BU02v4Y0rG

"This the broke ass bitch that stole the uber drivers tip jar $$$," a user responded. Their tweet has been retweeted over 45,000 times.

Canales attempted to "state real facts" and clarify the situation, but her snarky tweet only fueled more backlash. People were unforgiving, and continued to call her character into question. "You're trash," one person wrote.

@almightygaby @myfiteuphoria People make mistakes growing up, typical learning mistakes as everyone is growing, you… https://t.co/L3WWmr573i

A lot of people said that her repayment of the stolen tip money was not enough to sway their judgment of her.

@almightygaby IT👏🏽 DOESN'T 👏🏽MATTER 👏🏽 IF 👏🏽YOU 👏🏽PAYED 👏🏽HIM 👏🏽BACK 👏🏽YOU 👏🏽SHOULDN'T 👏🏽HAVE 👏🏽STOLEN 👏🏽HIS 👏🏽MONE… https://t.co/asXQ3b2SDG

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Her name continues to be dragged.

Gabrielle Canales you're a rat. How can you steal from someone who has to struggle to make a living. Poor guy might have a family and that

Absolute child. Infantile and pathetic . She says she has no regrets . And hats becAuse she is classless and clueless. #GabrielleCanales

Canales does not disagree with what she's been called, but she said she's also received death threats and sexual harassment based on her photos.

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

"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."

BuzzFeed News could not reach the Uber driver for comment. To the driver — who Canales identified as a man named Mohammed — she wants to apologize directly. "I would just like to apologize once again because what I did was foolish and uncalled for."

"Everything you do in life will have a consequence, no matter how old it is," she said.

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

Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.

Contact Tanya Chen at tanya.chen@buzzfeed.com.

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