Surveillance Photos Show Suspected Attacker in Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys

The man targets single family residential neighborhoods in the early mornings, and women walking dogs, police say

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    Police have released new photos of a man suspected of sexually assaulting at least five people in the Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks area during the month of June. Ted Chen reports from Sherman Oaks for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (Published Wednesday, July 9, 2014)

    Police have released surveillance images of a man suspected of attacking women in Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks by pulling down their pants and underwear, officials said.

    The images show a man wearing a gray sweatshirt and dark pants, appearing to be jogging or running.

    The man, between 20 and 25 years old, makes eye contact with his victims and then passes them by, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

    He then turns around and attacks from behind, grabbing their buttocks and pulling down the victim’s pants and underwear, police said.

    He targets single family residential neighborhoods in the early mornings, and women walking dogs, police said.

    "I walk a little bit later, so not so early, and just constantly scanning, keeping eye contact, looking for suspicious activity," Rachel Tash said.

    The attacks happened between June 7 and June 29 in Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys, officials said. The area is bordered by Hatteras Street on the north and Morrison Street on the south, and Halbrent Avenue on the west and Cedros Avenue on the east.

    "This is a very quiet residential area, so this is a first for us," resident Jill Barad said. "I think people have to be vigilant. They have to look around. Anything looks unusual, they have to report it right away."

    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 or Ford Taurus.

    Anyone with information should call detectives at 818-374-0040 or 877-LAPD-24-7.

    Ted Chen contributed to this report.

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