They Thought They Were in an Uber—Until It Drove the Wrong Way

2 women 'fortunate' to have escaped unknown suspect in SC
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2019 9:25 AM CDT
They Thought He Drove for Uber. Then He Grabbed Their Phone
A ride-share car displays Lyft and Uber stickers on its front windshield in downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 12, 2016.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Police in South Carolina say two women are "very fortunate" to have escaped a man they believed to be an Uber driver, in a case with parallels to the murder of Samantha Josephson. The two women, who haven't been named, were awaiting an Uber outside a Hilton Head restaurant early Friday when a dark SUV drove up, per CNN. The women reported seeing what looked like an Uber sign on the windshield, so they assumed the male behind the wheel was an Uber driver, just not the one they were expecting. It was only after the driver—described as 5 feet, 3 inches tall, with a dark complexion—took them in the opposite direction of their vacation rental and down a dirt road that they grew alarmed and threatened to call police, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect then grabbed a phone from one of the women, who was seated in the passenger seat, and stopped the vehicle. All three got out before the woman was able to snatch the phone and dial 911. The male drove off after seeing the call had been made, police say, per WCSC. Officers have been unable to locate or identify the man, or confirm whether he was a legitimate Uber driver. A state law introduced this month in response to Josephson's murder—she'd gotten into a vehicle that was not her Uber—requires ride-share vehicles to display illuminated signs. Reached by CNN, an Uber rep pointed to notifications that remind app users to identify their correct driver using a name, photo, license plate number, and car make and model. (More South Carolina stories.)

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