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Rescue of Woman Who Passed Note to Gas Station Customer After Alleged Kidnapping by Impersonator Uber Driver

Note from Woman Kidnapped by Uber Driver

A woman in Arizona narrowly escaped a harrowing situation thanks to her resourcefulness, according to the Yavapai County Police. Reportedly abducted from a car dealership in Phoenix by Jacob Wilhoit, 41, who disguised himself as an Uber driver, she was taken on a forced journey towards Las Vegas. The incident began around 7 a.m. on August 21 and continued until the next day.

Wilhoit, wearing a wig to appear as a driver for hire, restrained the unnamed woman in his vehicle immediately after she entered. They spent the night at Lake Mead park. However, during a stop at a Chevron gas station in Seligman, Arizona, around 5 p.m. on August 22, the woman cleverly slipped a note to a fellow customer. This note contained her name, a contact number, a description of the van, and their travel direction, urgently requesting the customer to call 911.

The customer’s prompt action led to the swift response of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. Although the van had departed from the gas station by the time deputies arrived, the note-provider gave vital descriptions of Wilhoit, the woman, and the van’s direction. The authorities, coordinating with the Department of Public Safety, managed to stop the van along I-40.

Wilhoit was arrested, and officers found several firearms in his vehicle. It was also discovered that the woman had been reported missing earlier that day by her mother. Wilhoit now faces multiple charges, including harassment, threatening, aggravated assault, unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, and other assault-related charges. He was detained in the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center early on August 23.

The incident, as Kristin Green of the Sheriff’s Office highlighted, underscores the importance of contacting 911 in emergencies. While the woman remains deeply affected by the ordeal, there is hope and determination for her recovery and justice.

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