Some Sexual Predators Pretending to Be Uber and Lyft Drivers Are Attacking Women Leaving Bars and Clubs, Police Warn

"These predators drive in areas where there are nightclubs and they prey on intoxicated victims or people they perceived to be intoxicated." Los Angeles police Homicide Capt. Bill Hayes said. "Did they call an Uber? the predator will ask. And when the victim jumps into the vehicle, they don't realize that is not the one they called."   In this photo, a sticker with the Uber logo is displayed in the window of a car.  (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“These predators drive in areas where there are nightclubs and they prey on intoxicated victims or people they perceived to be intoxicated.” Los Angeles police Homicide Capt. Bill Hayes said. “Did they call an Uber? the predator will ask. And when the victim jumps into the vehicle, they don’t realize that is not the one they called.”
In this photo, a sticker with the Uber logo is displayed in the window of a car.
(Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In January of last year, a woman climbed into what she thought was an Uber outside a Hollywood nightclub on a bustling stretch of Cahuenga Boulevard.

But instead of driving her home, authorities allege the man behind the wheel took her to a secluded area and repeatedly sexually assaulted her.

Los Angeles County prosecutors on Tuesday charged Nicolas Morales, 44, with raping seven women while posing as a ride-hailing service driver. Authorities allege he struck across the region, including Alhambra, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, between October 2016 and January 2018.

Authorities said they are dealing with a string of sexual assault cases in which attackers pretend to be drivers to lure women into their vehicles. When customers call for an Uber or Lyft, they might not pay attention to the type of vehicle the service is sending and end up jumping into the first car that pulls over for them, they said.

Read the full story on LATimes.com