Police in Annapolis, Maryland, are investigating what they called a “suspicious ride-share activity” after a woman left on a highway reported that she may have escaped a possible kidnapping.
The woman said that she was on the 100 block of Dock Street in Annapolis, in Annapolis Harbor, at 1 a.m. on Saturday, waiting for an Uber ride. A mid-size silver SUV pulled up, and she assumed it was her ride, the police said.
The driver, whom the police described as a Middle Eastern man with light facial hair, told her to get in the front passenger seat. As they were traveling, the woman realized that they had passed her exit on U.S. Route 50 and were not going to her destination.
She asked the driver several times where he was taking her. He insisted that he was going to get her home, a news release said. She pleaded with the driver to stop, and eventually he did, along Md. 197 in Bowie.
The woman and the driver both got out of the vehicle. He approached her and grabbed her arm, but something startled him and he got back in the vehicle, police said. Right after he left, another vehicle stopped and the occupants helped the woman return to Annapolis.
Police are not yet certain whether the driver who picked up the woman was actually a ride-share driver at all, or whether he picked up the woman mistaking her for another fare going to a different location.
The investigation is ongoing, and Annapolis police ask anyone with more information on what happened to contact them at 410-260-3439.
When getting on a ride-share service, police give these tips on how to identify your driver and vehicle:
- 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.
- 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.
- When you see your driver’s vehicle at your pickup 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.
- 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.
WTOP’s Valerie Bonk contributed to this report.