Police are searching for a woman who allegedly left a San Francisco train commuter a threatening note demanding that they hand over their wallet and phone on Saturday, PEOPLE confirms.
The attempted robbery took place on a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train, and video surveillance showed the suspect seated behind the victim — who later identified herself as Julie Dragland — who was sitting alone, according to press release by the BART Police Department.
The suspect, shown to be a white female in her 30s with long, strawberry blonde hair, reached over Dragland’s shoulder, which was when she possibly dropped the note, police say.
“There are 2 guns pointed at you now. If you want to live hand back your wallet + phone NOW + do not turn around and be discreet,” the note read. “Do not turn around until after you have left civic center + you will live.”
Dragland, 32, told the San Francisco Chronicle in an interview Sunday, “When I read the note, I started freaking out,” she said. “I did not want to give up my stuff, but I had no idea who was behind me.”
She told the Chronicle she mouthed “help me” to a man standing near her, but she realized she’d have to think of something else when he walked off the train.
Dragland began simulating a seizure.
“I probably looked very ridiculous,” she said. “I slumped sideways and started shaking and crying. I closed my eyes and increased the vigor so people would pay attention.”
When a couple approached her to check on her, she handed them the note, she told the Chronicle. It was at that time that police say the suspect walked off the train.
According to authorities, there was no indication that the suspect had weapons on her. Dragland said she would not press charges if the suspect was found, according to the Chronicle.
When it came to her idea to fake a medical ailment, Dragland said, “I think it had something to do with watching a lot of Law & Order. I think I saw that in an episode. I was very impressed with myself.”
Anyone with information on the suspect should call BART PD at 510-464-7040.