SF police arrest serial rapist who disguised as rideshare driver

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The San Francisco Police Department arrested a serial rapist who allegedly disguised himself as a rideshare driver to prey upon victims. 

Authorities say Orlando Vilchez Lazo, 37, would wait outside local bars posing as a rideshare driver. 

The victims would enter Lazo’s vehicle which they believed was the rideshare car they requested. 

Police say the victims were taken to other locations and sexually assaulted. 

In February, forensic evidence showed that two sexual assaults, one that happened in 2013 and another that happened in February 2018, appeared to have been committed by the same suspect. 

In both cases, the victims were waiting for a commonly known rideshare service outside local bars. Both entered cars which they believed were their rideshare vehicles. 

Police say they were then taken to another location and sexually assaulted. 

In June, police say the suspect was forensically connected to a third sexual assault which happened in May.

Authorities then formed a task force to catch who they called the “Rideshare Rapist.” 

In July, officers were able to connect the suspect to a fourth sexual assault that happened in June, according to police. 

The task force conducted a surveillance operation every weekend in downtown San Francisco to prevent more sexual assaults and to monitor any suspicious rideshare vehicles in an effort to identify a suspect. 

On July 7, investigators observed suspicious behavior from a driver in what looked like a rideshare vehicle, according to police. 

Officers stopped the vehicle, identified the driver and took his DNA, police said. 

Police say their crime lab confirmed that the driver’s DNA matched the forensic evidence from the June sexual assault. 

Lazo was taken into custody Thursday outside of his home in San Mateo County. 

Police are asking anyone who believes they may have been a victim to call (415) 533-1521.

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