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Cypress Park child annoyance suspects sought; sketches released

May 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A child annoyance investigation is under way in Cypress Park following separate cases of a suspect trying to lure young girls into his car. Investigators aren't certain if one man is behind the luring attempts or if two men are working together.

Sotomayor Learning Academy officials in Cypress Park have sent out notices warning students and parents.

According to officials, police have been investigating four separate cases of a man trying to lure a young girl into a car since October of 2012. The latest case was reported in April.

The suspect or suspects targeted girls from Sotomayor Learning Academy. Two cases involved the same victim.

"I think sometimes we fall into a false sense of security," said Joseph Llama of Sotomayor Learning Academy. "It's always good to know those safe practices really should be explored, talked about and really practiced."

LAPD says the lurings have been centered in the Cypress Park area of Northeast Los Angeles.

In each case, officials say a man pulled up next to a girl walking alone and offered her a ride. Each time, the girls refused and fled to a safe area.

"They ran to a safe place, they did not talk to the suspect and they told somebody, they told the police," said LAPD Spokesperson Susie Padilla.

LAPD has since released two composite sketches of the suspect or suspects using descriptions from the girls.

The suspect or suspects were described as a Hispanic male between the 30 to 45 years old, standing between 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall.

The first composite sketch depicts the suspect wearing a dark baseball cap with short dark hair and a light mustache with a possible goatee.

The second composite depicts the suspect as bald, wearing small earrings and a chain around his neck.

The victims' described two similar cars. One of the vehicles was described as a light-colored, 2007 to 2011 four-door Honda Accord possibly with paper license plates. The second was described as a dark-green, 2007 to 2010 four-door Toyota Camry.

Parents say this is the perfect opportunity to talk to their kids about what to do in these situations.

'I'm going to tell her watch out for any car, watch out for anybody, just stay away from anybody," said Irma Romero of Cypress Park.

"In reality, this happens all over the world and unfortunately they do target schools because that's where all our teenage girls are," said Rosario Howard.

Anyone with information was asked to contact LAPD Northeast Area Detective II Mark Raichel at (213) 344-5741 or LAPD at (877) 527-3247.


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