Police are searching for a man dubbed the “Valley Predatory,” suspected of targeting nine girls since Jan. 2011 with two attempted kidnappings, sexual assault and indecent exposure.
"As young ladies are walking to school or from school, he tries to make verbal or eye contact with them,” said Capt. Todd Chamberlain, LAPD Mission Division. “Have them look inside his vehicle where he is performing a lewd act on himself."
Students from Arleta High School, where the suspect has been seen masturbating in his car, said their concerns peaked when the school issued predator warnings a few weeks ago.
Freshman Marco Gonzalez said a man in a parked car "flashed" his female friend.
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"She said that she was walking towards a Toyota, saw the license plate covered. And she was like, ‘Oh. Whoa! There's something up,’” he said. "Then she ran away and called the cops."
Students said kids often walk in the area, especially considering the school is down the street.
Women and girls are especially worried about the Valley predator.
"I've been driving to school,” said Sarah Perez. “I just live down the block here, but I've been driving to school. I get scared in the morning."
The suspect has been described by victims as possibly Latino or Asian, standing about 5feet 6 inches tall and weighing between 170 and 200 pounds. Reported ages for the man vary from 26 to 40 years old, police said.
So far, the following crimes have been reported involving the suspect:
- 1/2011: 5 p.m. Beachy Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard
- 8/28/2011: 5:50 p.m. Terra Bella and Beachy Avenue
- 9/2011: 4 p.m. Beachy Avenue and Claretta Street
- 1/22/2012: 8 a.m. Canterbury Avenue and Osborne Street
- 2/24/2012: 7:30 a.m. Terra Bella Street and Beachy Avenue
- 2/27/2012: 7:10 a.m. Arleta Avenue and Terra Bella Street
- 2/28/2012: 4 p.m. Van Nuys Boulevard and Woodman Avenue
- 3/14/2012: 9 p.m. 14000 block of Van Nuys Boulevard
- 3/29/2012: 4:10 p.m. Beachy Avenue and Bromwich Street
Anyone with information about these incidents or this suspect is asked to contact Mission Area Detectives, Detective Juan Santa at (818) 838-9893