ANNAPOLIS — Annapolis Police are reminding the public to use caution when using rideshares after a woman's close call.
Police say on Saturday around 3:00 a.m, they were contacted about a possible kidnapping involving an Uber driver or someone posing as an Uber driver.
A woman told police that she was in the 100 block of Dock St earlier that night at 1:00 a.m. waiting for an Uber ride. A vehicle pulled up and the woman assumed it was the ride she was waiting for and approached the vehicle. The driver instructed her to get in the passenger seat. The passenger got in the vehicle to be taken to a destination in Annapolis. Along the ride, the woman realized they were on a highway and not headed toward her destination. She alerted the driver numerous times that he had missed her exit and when she asked where he was taking her, he replied that he was "going to get her home".
The passenger says she began to plead with the driver to stop the car and eventually he stopped on the side of the highway. The passenger got out of the vehicle and so did the driver. He approached her and grabbed her arm, but he was startled by something and let go of her, got back in the vehicle and drove away, leaving the woman on the side of the highway. Another vehicle stopped and the occupants assisted the woman in returning to Annapolis.
Officials say at this time it is unclear if the driver was operating as an Uber driver or any other ride sharing service. It is also unclear if the driver mistakenly picked up the woman, mistaking her for another fare going to a different location. Police hope to answer these questions in an ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact detectives at 410-260-3439.
Annapolis Police suggest these guidelines when using rideshares:
1. When you request a ride, your app sends your request to nearby drivers. After you’re matched with a driver, your app shares information about the vehicle and driver headed to your pick up location.
2. Tap the bar that includes the driver’s name, photo and vehicle. This displays a photo of your driver along with the vehicle’s make, model and license plate number.
3. When you see your driver’s vehicle at your pick up location, confirm that the license plate number displayed in your app matches the actual vehicle. Drivers will often ask your name before starting the trip.
4. Lyft also provides you with the driver’s name, profile photo and an image of the vehicle before the ride. Confirm that the vehicle and driver photos in the app match the actual vehicle and driver.