Police: Otay Ranch mother encountered suspicious woman in van

Posted at 3:24 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 11:07:40-05

OTAY RANCH - Police are warning Otay Ranch residents to be aware of a woman described as "suspicious," seen driving a white van and wandering around the neighborhood claiming she needed a jump for her vehicle.

Chula Vista police said it looks like it could be the "beginning of a scam."

The incident was captured Monday on surveillance cameras in the Windingwalk area, and a woman is seen holding jumper cables and walking up the sides of homes and to the front doors.

Ume Zaidi said the suspicious woman first walked around the neighborhood peeking in houses. Zaidi said the woman then came up to her home and began talking to her children, who were alone but locked behind a gate. Zaidi told 10News she didn't know what was going on for several minutes.

"So when they were quiet for some time, then I realized that this was unusual, so I went out to check on them so they were talking to her," Zaidi said. "I was shocked, and I asked her, 'What's happening? What do you want?' She had the cable in her hand and she said, 'I wanted to jump start my car. I'm a real estate agent.'"

Zaidi said the woman claimed her boyfriend's car had stopped working and she needed help.

Zaidi wanted to help, but she didn't feel comfortable around the stranger. She said the woman walked back to a large white van parked down the street.

"She tried to open the hood and then she sat in the car and she said, 'Oh, it's working again,'" said Zaidi.

The woman then drove in front of Zaidi's house to say that her van was working. As the woman drove away, the rear door opened, according to Zaidi.

"That was scary to think about it," said Zaidi.

Zaidi posted the interaction on Facebook, and a neighbor told her the same woman also claimed she needed a jump while she was parked on another street.

"How can she go from one street to another street if she doesn't have a car battery charged?" said Zaidi.

Zaidi wants her neighbors to keep their doors and gates locked and watch their children closely. She has filed a police report with Chula Vista Police Department.