Police on Lookout for Man Suspected of Sexual Assaults in Van Nuys Area

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two composite sketches were released Monday of a man suspected of sexually assaulting at least five women in the Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys area over the past month. Robert Kovacik reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. from Van Nuys Monday, July 07, 2014. (Published Monday, Jul 7, 2014)

    Police are asking the public to be on the lookout for a man suspected of sexually assaulting at least five people in the Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks area during the month of June.

    The man, between 20 and 25 years old, makes eye contact with his victims and then passes them by, police said. He then turns around and attacks from behind, grabbing their buttocks and pulling down the victim’s pants and underwear.

    "We call him 'The Hoodie,' simply because he wears a hood," resident Stephen Green said, adding that residents should take precautions. "Don't wear headphones so you can hear footsteps behind you. Maybe carry a whistle."

    Victims described the attacker as someone who "blends into the neighborhood not causing any suspicion," according to a crime alert from the Los Angeles Police Department.

    "My friend here is going to the bus stop a block away at the end of the street, and I'm driving her to the bus because we're afraid to walk on the streets here," resident Amy Ram said. "Anyone who I've given the flyer to, they don't even know about it."

    The attacks took place between June 7 and June 29 in Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys, officials said.

    "We have a neighborhood watch that interacts with other neighborhood watches so we're passing the information along," resident Gloria Siporin said.

    The attacker was described as white or Hispanic, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall, between 145 and 160 pounds, with black or brown hair and brown eyes.

    Police said the attacker may have been driving a charcoal gray late model 1990s Toyota Camry.

    LAPD sources told the NBC4 I-Team that police are reviewing surveillance video and interviewing both victims and witnesses.

    Tena Ezzeddine contributed to this article.

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