Shepherd Trace Subdivision

South Carolina Murder - Wrong Car/Taxi: HPD Advice

HOUSTON - It's something that most of us have done: hopped in an Uber or Lyft without thinking twice about it.

But, with more and more crimes being connected to ride-sharing services, the city of Houston wants you to start taking action.

"That could have been any one of us," Jobin Varghese said.

"It's really unfortunate that someone would take advantage of the system and try to hurt someone like this," Ashley Nguyen said 

Police said 21-year-old Samantha Josephson, a University of South Carolina college student, was kidnapped and murdered after she got into the wrong car thinking it was her Uber.

Police said there have been several crimes connected to ride-sharing services in the Houston area.

Last month, several people were robbed in Midtown when they got into the wrong vehicle.

Officer Jeff Brieden works with the Houston Police Department's Robbery Division and said it just takes a few seconds to know you have the right car.

"On the Uber app, it tells you color of the vehicle and it tells you the type of vehicle and it also gives you a picture of the driver. I don't think there's anything wrong with, as you're getting into the vehicle, to make sure that the window can roll down," Brieden said.

Brieden also said to check the license plate and have the driver confirm your name.

He said to trust your instincts and, if you feel something is not right, it probably isn't.

In an emergency, call 911 and give police your location.

Also, if you're in the car and can't get out, Brieden said you have every legal right to save your life and do what you need to do to make sure you're not hurt.

Posted by rhaith on 04/03/2019
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Houston, Texas 77077