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Police search for child molester

July 31, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police are searching for a child molester who preys on young girls walking to school.Police are searching for a sexual predator who was caught on surveillance tape. The suspect is seen leading a 10-year-old girl into an apartment building on the 300 block of Commonwealth Avenue earlier this month.

"For whatever reason be became startled and he left the victim inside the apartment building and ran out," said LAPD Detective Monica Cross.

Investigators believe he is the same man seen in another surveillance video taken in April 2008, on the 600 block of Burlington Avenue. In this video an 8-year-old girl is seen being led into an apartment building across the street.

Two months earlier detectives say that he targeted a 9-year-old. Each time the young girl was walking to school alone when he persuaded them to follow him.

"I can't get into the details to what he specifically says to them. He's friendly enough to them where he is able to lure them away," said Det. Cross.

The latest attack happened a few blocks away from Commonwealth Elementary School.

Francisca Gonzalez whose two children attend the school says she received a letter from school officials about the incident. Parents were told to talk to their kids about being safe on the streets. Her 10-year-old who knows one of the victims explained some of the self-defense tips mentioned in the letter.

"If they grab you they tell you to scream, or bite them, or kick them," said Herman Garcia.

A parent with three girls says the best advice is to avoid contact with anyone you do not know.

"They are always told to walk away if they don't know the person. We also have code words. So if she asks them the code word and they do not know it she knows to get away immediately and start running," said Willie Mieldon.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD at (877) 527-3247.

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