ANGELINO HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) --The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for a man on a prowling spree who is sexually assaulting women.
The man has been caught on surveillance video sneaking into apartment complexes and climbing over fences - or simply being let into secure front doors by other residents.
Once inside a building, he tries to enter unlocked apartments and on at least two occasions has tried to rape women he found alone inside their units.
Police say he has committed at least two attempted rapes and six break-ins in buildings from downtown LA to Silver Lake and as far west as Hollywood from Aug. 1 to Aug. 13. LAPD Rampart detectives believe there may be many more confrontations that have not been reported. So far no injuries have been reported, as he was scared off when the two potential victims fought him off and screamed for help.
The LA City Council and LA County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized a $35,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
In one surveillance image the glint of a blade - a kitchen knife - is visible poking through his jeans.
The presence of a weapon raises concerns that his behavior could become more aggressive.
"This suspect we believe has the potential to carry out a more serious crime," said LAPD Lt. Joe Losorelli. "He is bold to enter locations and attack the people inside."
He sometimes uses a ruse.
"He asked to borrow the phone and the occupant declined and shut the door on him," said building manager Teresa Fiallos.
His common ploy is to find an unlocked door with a woman alone inside.
The suspect is described as an African American male, about 25 years old, 5-feet 10-inches to six-feet tall and weighing about 175 pounds. He has been seen with a T-shirt emblazoned with the Virgin Mary.
Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD Rampart Detectives or LAPD's tip line at (877)LAPD 24-7.