A Delaware County woman was abducted and robbed by her apparent Lyft driver as she headed home from celebrating her sister's 21st birthday at a Philadelphia club, police said Wednesday.
Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said the 31-year-old ordered a car through the popular ridesharing service around 3 a.m. Wednesday as they left Voyeur Nightclub in Philadelphia's Gayborhood.
The woman and her sister then got into a black sedan — possibly a Nissan — and headed to Havertown. Chitwood said the driver made two stops, first at a Sunoco on Walnut Street for matches and then a Sunoco on West Chester Pike in Upper Darby.
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At the Upper Darby gas station, the driver asked the 21-year-old to go into the convenience store for a bottle of water so he could take medicine, Chitwood said.
When she returned, her older sister, the driver and car were gone.
The 31-year-old told police she was driven back into Philadelphia with the man stopping in Olney along the 100 block of Champlost Avenue.
There, around 4:30 a.m., the driver allegedly demanded the woman hand over her credit card, debit card and smartphone, Chitwood said. She when she refused to give him the password to her phone, the woman told detectives she was yanked from the car. The man, believed to be 25 to 30 years old, then drove away with her personal belongings.
The victim walked to a nearby 7-Eleven and called police.
In the meantime, police in Upper Darby began a missing persons case asking for the public's help in finding the woman.
Philadelphia police returned the woman to her Havertown home around 10:30 a.m. and Upper Darby police took over the investigation.
The woman is being questioned by detectives. She was not physically injured in the incident, the superintendent said. She is hearing impaired, but Chitwood said he did not believe there was a miscommunication.
It's not clear if the man was actually a Lyft driver or was posing as one, Chitwood said. Philadelphia police are working to figure that out.
Lyft spokesman Scott Coriell said the ridesharing company has "no reason to believe at this time that a Lyft driver was involved in this incident."
Coriell said a search of their system didn't show a ride matching the time, location or vehicle described in the incident. They're working with police.
Chitwood said there are still a number of details to sort out, but that police are treating the incident as an abduction and robbery.
Anyone with information should contact Upper Darby Police Department at 610-734-7693.