Woman finds man hiding under coat in backseat of her car while driving home

Facebook/Yarmouth Police Department

(YARMOUTH, Mass.) -- A woman was left shaken and terrified by the side of a highway when she found a man hiding in the backseat of her car as she was driving “with a coat over his head,” police said.

A police officer from the Yarmouth Police Department in the Cape Cod community of Massachusetts was patrolling near the Route 6 exit ramp just before 1 a.m. on Monday morning when he “came upon a vehicle he thought was disabled,” according to a statement from the Yarmouth Police Department released on social media.

“As he went to check on the car, he saw a woman standing outside of it attempting to dial 911. She appeared to be scared and upset as she explained to the officer what had just occurred,” police said.

The woman told police that she had just left her friend’s house and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary at the beginning of her journey. However, a short time later a light suddenly came on in her car while she was driving which caused her alarm.

“As she looked into the back seat, she was surprised to see a man hiding with a coat pulled over his head,” said the Yarmouth Police Department.

The woman told police that she was extremely frightened and began driving erratically which caused the man hiding in the backseat of her car to fall out of the open rear door of the vehicle and onto the road, authorities said.

Following a brief investigation by officers from the Yarmouth Police Department, they found the suspect -- 36-year-old Jailton Dos Santos of South Yarmouth -- and he was arrested and charged with breaking and entering into a vehicle in the nighttime.

Police did not give any indication of why Dos Santos was in the unnamed woman’s car or what his motivation might have been behind the alleged crime.

While the victim was lucky to escape physically unscathed, following the incident, the Yarmouth Police Department took the opportunity to “remind everyone to make sure they lock their unattended vehicles, especially at night.”

Tuesday, July 18, 2023 at 7:51PM by Jon Haworth, ABC News Permalink