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Sexual predator targeting San Fernando Valley teen girls, police say

April 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police are warning teenage girls in the San Fernando Valley of a suspected sexual predator on the loose who they said has struck several times in the past 15 months.

The Los Angeles Police Department released a sketch of a suspect believed to be responsible for two attempted kidnappings and multiple incidents of lewd behavior near Arleta High School and Beachy Avenue Elementary School.

Police said the incidents took place between January 2011 and last week. On one occasion, the suspect ran up behind a young girl walking home and grabbed both her legs to try to lift her off the ground. That victim got away. However, police said they fear others may not be so lucky. The suspect's targets are young school girls between the ages of 14 and 16.

"He actually would sit in his vehicle and as these children would walk by, he tried to make some kind of contact with them, either verbally or horn or whatever, have them look in his car and he would be performing lewd acts on himself," LAPD Cpt. Todd Chamberlain said.

Police said the crimes occurred when the girls were going to and from school in the early morning and when they were leaving school in the afternoon.

"He's not out there every day, obviously. He's not out there all the time, he's not at the same location. It's kind of a hit-and-miss thing with this suspect," Chamberlain said.

Students said they've also been warned by school officials not to walk alone and to be on the lookout for the sexual deviant.

The suspect was described as 5-foot-six, 160 to 200 pounds, between 25 and 40 years old, with short, curly black hair with some gray.

Police said he may be driving a couple of different vehicles, either a red or white Honda, Toyota or Nissan from 2000 to 2010. Police said he sometimes uses a cloth to conceal the license plate number.

"It's kind of creepy that there's a guy out there like that," said student Daisy Reyniga. "The police hasn't got him and I feel really unsafe."

Anyone with information is urged to call police at (818) 838-9893.


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