4 teenage girls groped in Riverside; suspect sought

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A search is underway for a sexual battery suspect who police say groped four teenage girls on their way to school in Riverside.

A search is underway for a sexual battery suspect who police say groped four teenage girls on their way to school in Riverside.

The incidents happened on Wednesday between 7 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. at four separate locations in roughly the same area, all north of the 91 Freeway near Gramercy Place and Jones Avenue, Gramercy Place and Crest Avenue, Gramercy Place and Wohlstetter Street, and Hole Avenue and Jones Avenue.

Investigators said the man approached the girls, who are between the ages of 12 and 18, touched them in a sexual manner and fled.

Riverside police said at least one of the victims attends Wells Middle School.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man, between 30 and 40 years old, wearing a black baseball hat or beanie, a black running jacket, black running pants and black shoes.

Officials stated a mid 2000s white Chevrolet truck with a gray grill, blue headlights and tinted windows may be related to the case. Police said no license plates were seen on the truck.

Local resident Chanel Jefferson thinks she saw the suspect the other day. Seeing the news reports Thursday confirmed her suspicions.

"I was just telling my daughter and them to be careful when they're going up Crest because there's a lot of methheads and a lot of drug activity around here," Jefferson said.

Susan Madamombe was among the thousands of parents who received an automated phone call from the school district Wednesday night.

"They mentioned Wells Middle School, they mentioned Foothill Elementary, they mentioned La Sierra High and they mentioned Norte Vista High," Madamombe said.

Though the information was limited, she said the warning got her attention.

"And it seems to be a safe place, but I've heard of this happening a year or so back, you know something like this," Madamombe said.

Although each victim gave a similar description of Wednesday's suspect, police said it's too early to connect the encounters to anything that occurred in the past.

Local residents want to make sure such incidents don't happen again.

"We'll catch him if he's in this neighborhood, because we're a tight-knit neighborhood, so we'll get him," said Andre Ford of Riverside.

Police said additional officers will be patrolling the area on Thursday. If you have any information about the case, you're urged to call Detective Karla Beler with the Riverside Police Department at (951) 353-7125.
Related Topics:
newsgropingsex crimesteenagerssafetypolicesearchRiverside
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