Butler police arrest woman known for jumping into cars, demanding rides

Update: (March 30, 2017)-- Police say the suspect, identified as Dawn Marie Winters, is now is custody on charges unrelated to this case.

Original: 

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Police are searching for a woman that has reportedly been targeting drivers on the north side for years.

Officers say the woman most recently jumped into a Butler student’s car and would not get out, stealing from her before she took off.

“We had a student that was just a few blocks off campus that had stopped to help a lady that was in distress and offered to give her a ride,” said John Conley, Chief of Public Safety at Butler University. “As a result, she gave him the runaround and refused to get out of his car and ended up stealing a cup full of change that was sitting in his car.”

Sound familiar? That is because police say she has done this dozens of times before, since as early as 2014. We found several people who say she just jumped right into their front seat.

“I was getting gas at 96th and Keystone. She approached the car and was already crying so I asked if everything was alright. Before I had a chance to have a conversation, she just hopped in my car,” said victim Ryan Williamson.

Police hope Ryan’s story along with so many others serves as a reminder to stop and think before you let someone in your car.

“I felt foolish after I gave her the ride that something bad could have happened. She looks really harmless but I would not want to do it again,” said Williamson.

If you know of this suspect’s whereabouts, call BUPD at 317-940-BUPD.

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