VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A man from Langley is accused of sexually assaulting a woman after posing as an Uber driver and luring her into his vehicle.
In addition to the charge of sexual assault, 24-year-old Hirdeypaul Batth is also facing a count of forcible confinement.
This is related to an investigation from Aug. 24, when Batth is accused of assaulting a victim in the area of Oak Street and King Edward Avenue.
Vancouver police say he is believed to have posed as the victim’s Uber driver while driving a white 2020 Land Rover.
Police believe the suspect forcibly confined the victim and sexually assaulted her near Oak St and King Edward Ave on Aug 26. It is believed he had posed as the victim’s Uber driver with his white 2020 Land Rover. https://t.co/nUK2CFpOte
— Denise Wong (@DeniseTWong) October 29, 2020
The concern now is that there may be other potential victims.
“Investigators are expanding their focus to look at crimes that occurred outside of Vancouver and are urging any other victims to please come forward,” says VPD Const. Tania Visintin.
Police say Batth was convicted of sexual assault in 2017 “with similarities to the current investigation.”
He remains in custody.
Uber does not let drivers pick up passengers who flag them down from a street corner or outside a restaurant.
“You can request a trip with Uber and be in your home and actually follow and know exactly when they’re outside to pick you up, so you don’t have to wait outside and wait for someone to come and pick you, so you are notified in the app when the driver is outside,” said Kayla Whaling, with Uber.
She adds you should also ask drivers who they are picking up before getting inside.
“Never get in a car with a driver who claims to be with Uber, but doesn’t match what’s in your app. You can also share the trip details with friends and family — estimated time of arrival and the specific route with friends and family — so they can follow the trip and know that they got home safely.”
The VPD is asking anyone with information to contact investigators at 604.717.0601 or to call Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.8477.