A woman who Mesa police said would jump into strangers’ cars, ransack their belongings and threaten to tell police false stories of sexual assaults was arrested Wednesday afternoon.
Valarie Ann Zayas and another unidentified woman jumped into a man’s car on Dec. 24 near Main Street and Extension Road demanding money, police reports said.
According to authorities, Zayas told the man she would call the police and say he sexually assaulted her if he did not meet her demands.
Police said the victim left his car while Zayas rifled through the glove compartment and took several items. Police arrested Zayas on suspicion of burglary and theft by extortion after the victim and a witness identified Zayas in a photo lineup.
Police said Zayas admitted to them she had entered the man’s vehicle without permission and taken several items that were not hers.
Police said Zayas has had several run-ins with law enforcement and was involved in a similar incident earlier Wednesday, but the victim did not seek prosecution.