Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- NewsChannel 9 put you “On the Lookout” for a woman in pink scrubs who’s terrified two college students by jumping into their cars and demanding money. Now, we’ve learned there are many more victims.
The woman has been targeting mostly women and police say there are almost 20 victims – all with the same story: The woman flags them down, asks them for help and then hops into the passenger side of their car and demands a ride, and eventually money.
One victim, Michele Brokaw tells us the woman flagged her down, pleading for help. She says it happened as she headed to work one night at Upstate’s Community General Hospital.
“She [was] waving I need help,” Brokaw said. “I thought my door was locked, but it wasn’t and she just opened the door and got in and said her car broke down.”
Brokaw says she felt sorry for the woman and gave her a ride to a gas station. But then the stranger’s demeanor changed. Brokaw says she ordered her to drive and then demanded money.
“We got down into the city and I’m thinking, ‘What are we doing here? Is she going to kill me?” Brokaw said.
Brokaw says the woman told her to pull over and that she needed money, so she gave her $20 and the woman told her she needed $5 more. "So at that point I'm thinking, take all my money I just need to go to work," said Brokaw.
Brokaw didn’t realize until she saw our story Wednesday night that she wasn’t alone. DeWitt Police have been flooded with calls from victims. One of those cases dates back to December and one of them happened on Wednesday.
“It was overwhelming when we were taking that many calls this morning, so obviously we want to identity her and take care of business,” said Tom Regan, with the DeWitt Police Department.
The woman appears to be targeting areas around hospitals, with the story of needing a ride, having a high-risk pregnancy and not being able to walk.
Police want to make sure people know that if the woman pictured approaches your car, lock your door and call 911 immediately.
When caught, the suspect will likely face a number of charges, including robbery and scheme to defraud, which means she could face prison time.