Man charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment after allegedly posing as rideshare driver to lure women

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Prosecutors on Tuesday charged a man accused of posing as a rideshare driver with kidnapping and three counts of false imprisonment with violence, among other charges, in connection with multiple investigations.

Nassef Ragheb, 48, pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday afternoon and bail was set at $500,000. He’s next due in court Feb. 24.

On Feb. 1, officers were dispatched to a report of a prowler in the area of Brimhall Road and Jewetta Avenue. A follow-up investigation led police to identify Ragheb as a suspect. He was arrested Friday.

Nassef Ragheb covered his face while in court Tuesday.

Ragheb had previously been listed as a suspect in related incidents reported to police and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office in 2018 and 2019.

In 2019, Ragheb posed as an Uber or Lyft driver in an attempt to lure women into his car, according to investigators. They said he attempted to forcibly kiss a woman after driving her home.

And in 2018, police said, Ragheb stalked a woman, looked into her windows from her backyard and entered her home through an unlocked door.

Police said Ragheb appeared to target women who were possibly intoxicated after leaving local bars and restaurants.

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