Man Used Stolen Vehicle to Pose as Ride-Hailing Driver, Sexually Assault Woman in Temecula: Officials

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Luis Fernando Alba is seen in a booking photo released July 16, 2019, by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Luis Fernando Alba is seen in a booking photo released July 16, 2019, by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

A Moreno Valley man is accused of carjacking a vehicle and using it to pose as a ride-hailing app driver, then kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman who got into the car, officials said Tuesday.

Luis Fernando Alba, 24, was already in custody on suspicion of stealing the car when authorities tied him to the sexual assault, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

The vehicle was stolen Saturday out of Moreno Valley, and Alba was arrested in the carjacking case on Monday, authorities said.

On Sunday, Alba encountered the victim as she was waiting for a driver to pick her up at a gas station in Pala, a small community on a northern San Diego County Indian reservation, deputies said.

Alba allegedly stated he was her ride when he pulled up, and the woman got in the car. But she soon became aware that Alba didn’t really work for Lyft or Uber and asked to be let out of the vehicle, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Alba allegedly refused to let her out. They eventually reached Temecula, where Alba is accused of sexually assaulting the captive woman.

The assault occurred around 8:30 p.m. in the area of Temecula and Redhawk parkways, and the victim was able to get out onto Temecula Parkway to call 911, authorities said.

Inmate records show Alba was arrested around 7 p.m. Monday in Moreno Valley. It’s unclear when exactly investigators linked him to the assault.

The suspect is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

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