Woman ‘kidnapped by fake Uber driver’ saved after slipping note to stranger

In a remarkable display of quick thinking and courage, a woman who was allegedly abducted by a fake Uber driver managed to save herself by passing a discreet note to another customer at a Chevron gas station in Seligman, Arizona. The incident unfolded on Tuesday and was detailed by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office on their Facebook page.

The woman, whose identity remains undisclosed, slipped a small yellow note to another customer, containing her name and a plea for assistance. The note informed the recipient that she had been kidnapped and urgently requested them to call 911. Along with her personal information, the note included a description of the van she was in, a phone number, and her intended destination – Kingman and Las Vegas.

The story began earlier that day when the woman’s mother reported her as missing and endangered. The person of interest was identified as Jacob Wilhoit, aged 41. Detectives pieced together that Wilhoit had posed as an Uber driver, disguising himself with a wig. He had abducted the victim from a car dealership in the Phoenix area on the preceding Monday morning. After restraining her, they embarked on a drive towards Las Vegas and spent the night at a park in Lake Mead.

Swift action ensued when the customer at the Chevron gas station promptly contacted 911 upon receiving the note. Law enforcement agencies, including the sheriff’s office and the Department of Public Safety, sprang into action. The van was located on Interstate 40 at Mile Post 116, where Wilhoit was taken into custody without resistance and the victim was successfully rescued. Notably, several firearms were discovered in plain view within the van.

Wilhoit faces an array of charges including kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, aggravated assault, harassment, and various assault counts. The sheriff’s department commended the victim’s resourcefulness in passing the note, the customer’s willingness to assist, and the swift coordinated response of law enforcement and the Department of Public Safety. The combined efforts of all parties ensured the victim’s safety and reunification with her family. This incident evokes a similar occurrence four years earlier, when a woman was rescued from her abusive husband after passing a note to a Domino’s pizza worker in New Mexico to indicate her captivity.