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Brave woman passes note after being ‘kidknapped’ by a wig wearing fake Uber driver

Image credit: Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO)

In a harrowing incident that unfolded on 22 August at a Chevron service station, a brave woman managed to escape from her alleged kidnapper by passing a note to a fellow customer, alerting them to her situation.

The dramatic rescue took place in Seligman, a town located in Yavapai County, Arizona.

At approximately 5pm, the woman, whose identity has been withheld for her protection, discreetly signalled another customer at the service station. She desperately handed over a note that revealed her name and urged the customer to call 911, indicating that she had been kidnapped. The message also provided crucial information, including a description of the van she was abducted in, a phone number, and the intended destinations of Kingman and Las Vegas.

The alert customer promptly dialled emergency services, relaying the information given in the note. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) immediately responded to the distress call. The customer informed authorities that the van had just departed the service station and was traveling westbound on I-40, while also providing detailed descriptions of the clothing worn by both the woman and her alleged captor.

Deputies from YCSO swiftly alerted the Department of Public Safety (DPS), seeking their assistance in locating the van. The DPS successfully tracked down the vehicle at Mile Post 116 on I-40, leading to the detention of the adult female victim and her alleged kidnapper, identified as 41-year-old Jacob Wilhoit. The apprehension proceeded without incident.

As the events unfolded, YCSO 911 Dispatchers uncovered that the victim had been reported missing by her mother earlier that same afternoon. She was listed as missing and endangered. Intriguingly, the police report had identified Jacob Wilhoit as a person of interest at that time.

Further investigation revealed that Wilhoit had abducted the victim from a car dealership in the Phoenix area around 7am on Monday morning. Disguised as an Uber driver, he had donned a wig to deceive the victim. Throughout their journey to Las Vegas, Wilhoit kept her restrained. They had spent the previous night at a Lake Mead park.

During the search of Wilhoit’s vehicle, police discovered multiple firearms in plain sight, leading to additional charges levied against him. Besides the initial accusations of Harassment, Threatening, Intimidating, Aggravated Assault, Unlawful Imprisonment, and Kidnapping, he now faces additional assault charges.

A spokesperson from Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said: “The victim’s extraordinary action in passing the note, the customer’s willingness to assist, and the quick actions of YCSO and DPS saved the victim from her kidnapper and allowed her to return home with her family.”


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