Police Seek Sex-Assault Suspect in Huntington Beach

The man allegedly groped one woman inside a store and ran off when she screamed.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A sexual predator has struck at least three times at a popular shopping plaza in Huntington Beach. Authorities believe the suspect is a Hispanic male in his 20s who has struck in and around the Bella Terra shopping center. The man was seen wearing dark clothing and shoes with bright orange shoelaces. Hetty Chang reports from Huntington Beach for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 17, 2013.  (Published Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013)

     Police were searching for a man who has sexually assaulted at least three women around a popular Huntington Beach shopping center, authorities said Tuesday.

    The attacks occurred in and near the Bella Terra shopping plaza, off of the San Diego (405) Freeway and Beach Boulevard.

    The suspect was described as a Hispanic man in his early 20s with short, dark hair, and about 5 feet, 10 inches tall with a thin build, police said.

    The man, who was seen wearing dark clothes and shoes with bright orange shoelaces, was caught on surveillance on Sept. 13, outside the Burlington Coat Factory store where he assaulted a woman inside the store before noon that day, according to police.

    "A woman was in the lingerie department when we believe the same individual approached her and sexually battered her from behind, grabbing her on top of the clothing," Huntington Beach police Lt. Mitch O'Brien said. "When she screamed, he runs out of the store."

    Police believe the same man attacked a jogger just before 7 a.m. Aug. 28 outside of the shopping plaza on Huntington Village Lane and Center Ave.

    Women shopping at the plaza Tuesday were shocked to hear about the sexual predator.

    "I used to shop here a lot, now I'll be more aware walking to my car by myself," said Louis Comer of Mission Viejo.

    "I won't be going by myself for awhile until he's caught," said Mickenna Richards.

    Police are asking anyone with information to contact the HBPD Hotline at 714-375-5066.

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