On Tuesday February 27th, Santa Clarita resident N. Morales was charged with dozens of felonies, including several counts of rape, attempted kidnapping and sexual assault. The suspect is alleged to have committed these crimes between October 2016 and January 2018 while posing as a driver for a ride-hailing service. He was arrested on February 23 by the Alhambra police, who did not indicate which ride-hailing service Morales claimed to work for. The attacks occurred all over the Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Alhambra, West Hollywood and Los Angeles proper.

The LAPD had been searching for the suspect since receiving a report in January of 2017. The victim got into Morales’ vehicle thinking it was the ride she was waiting for. After entering the vehicle, the victim was allegedly assaulted. It wasn’t until Dec. 30, 2017 that the police department in Alhambra began investigating the case after receiving a report of a rape that occurred on Dec. 30, 2017.

Morales has been charged with 27 separate counts, including forcible oral copulation, rape, sodomy, and attempted kidnapping. It was reported that he used a knife to force some of his victims to perform sex acts. If convicted on all charges, Morales faces hundreds of years in prison. Currently, prosecutors are asking that his bail be set at $10.3 million.

This isn’t the first time someone has posed as the driver for a ride-hailing service, and it likely won’t be the last. The apps have built-in identifying features that should be used to help one avoid getting into the wrong vehicle. For example, the apps feature a photograph of the driver, as well as the type of car they’re driving and the license plate number. Always be sure that all the identifying info matches up before entering a stranger’s vehicle. Many drivers also use decals to indicate that they drive for a ride-hailing service, though these can be easily forged.

Robin Sandoval
Robin Sandoval is a California Licensed Bail Bondsman and owner of SCV Bail Bonds. Robin writes blogs and articles to help increase community awareness of the bail industry. If you have questions or want to suggest a topic, email robin@scvbailbonds.com, visit www.scvbailbonds.com or call 661-299-2245.
Robin Sandoval
Robin Sandoval