SFPD Arrest Serial Rapist 18-094
In February 2018, the San Francisco Police Department identified two sexual assaults which appeared to have been committed by the same suspect. The first assault occurred in 2013 and the second in February of 2018. The cases were connected by forensic evidence and other identified factors. The survivors in each incident, while waiting for a commonly known rideshare service, entered automobiles which they believed were their rideshare vehicles outside local bars. They were then taken to another location and sexually assaulted.
SFPD Special Victims Unit Sexual Assault investigators, Cold Case investigators and SFPD Crime Analysis Unit analysts immediately began to search for other cases which bore any similarities to the first two cases. The San Francisco Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) also identified and discussed similarities between reports by other sexual assault survivors.
In June 2018, the suspect was forensically connected to a third sexual assault which occurred in May of 2018. The San Francisco Police Department formed a taskforce which consisted of the Department’s Special Victims Unit, Crime Lab, Special Investigations, Crime Analysis Unit, Southern District Station plainclothes team and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office Crime Strategies Unit. This taskforce worked closely with the FBI and the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) to identify and apprehend the suspect, referred to then as the Rideshare Rapist. In July 2018, the San Francisco Police Department Crime Lab was able to use forensic evidence to connect the Rideshare Rapist to a fourth sexual assault which occurred in June 2018.
The taskforce followed numerous leads and the Special Victims Unit conducted a proactive surveillance operation every weekend in the downtown San Francisco area to prevent additional sexual assaults, monitor and log any suspicious rideshare vehicles and drivers or individuals posing as such, and ultimately to identify a suspect.
While conducting an operation the weekend of July 7th, Special Victims Unit investigators observed suspicious behavior from a driver operating what appeared to be a rideshare vehicle. The vehicle was subsequently stopped and the driver identified. The driver’s DNA was obtained and submitted for analysis and comparison. On Tuesday, July 10, 2018 the San Francisco Police Department Crime Lab confirmed that the driver’s DNA matched forensic evidence from the June sexual assault. The crime lab is conducting the final DNA confirmation tests on all four assaults.
On Thursday, July 12, 2018 the suspect, identified as thirty-seven year-old Orlando Vilchez Lazo, was taken into custody outside of his home in San Mateo County. Vilchez Lazo was charged with multiple offenses including false imprisonment, kidnapping, assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object and rape. Rideshare companies are cooperating with SFPD investigators to determine whether Vilchez Lazo has ever been a documented rideshare driver.
A booking photo is attached to this news release. While a suspect has been identified in these assaults, this is an ongoing investigation and there may be additional survivors who were sexually assaulted by Vilchez Lazo. We ask that any survivors or witnesses to these assaults or any others that may have been perpetrated by Vilchez Lazo contact the SFPD Special Victims Unit at 415-553-1521. The SFPD can also be contacted through our 24 hour tip line at (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.