A man suspected of sexually assaulting two women in separate incidents earlier this month in the Fairfax and West Hollywood areas was in custody Friday, and police urged other possible victims to contact authorities.
The crimes occurred between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Feb. 15 in the 800 block of Vista Street in the Fairfax area, and in the 7600 block of Hampton Avenue in West Hollywood, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Gabriel Hodges, 27, described as “a New York native experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles,” was arrested on Feb. 17, the LAPD reported.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office filed counts of aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary with intent to commit a sexual assault, and assault with intent to commit rape against Hodges, who remains in custody on $2.1 million bail, the LAPD said.
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Following the attacks, security images showing the suspect were circulated, police said.
“LAPD Wilshire officers and Los Angeles Sheriff's Department West Hollywood station deputies and detectives saturated the area, aided by investigators from the Special Assault Section and LASD Special Victims Bureau,'' police said.
“Due to local homeowners' excellent security systems and cameras, they were quickly able to obtain video of the first assault and images of the suspect creeping through the neighborhood,'' police said.
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Detectives determined that the same suspect committed both assaults and fled toward the downtown Los Angeles area, police said.
“After a neighborhood watch group circulated footage and generated media interest, an observant librarian from the Los Angeles Public Library's Central Library observed the suspect inside on February 17,” police said.
“She alerted security, who summoned LAPD officers and SAS detectives,” police said.
Detectives then arrested Hodges.
“Thank goodness this is a tight-knit community who looks out for its neighbors,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Blake Chow, commanding officer of Operations-West Bureau. “They were our eyes and ears on every block and they didn't rest until we had what we needed to catch a very dangerous man.”
Anyone with information that could lead to the identification of additional victims or witnesses was urged to contact the LAPD at 213-473-0447 or 877-LAPD-247; the Sheriff's Information Bureau at 213-229-1850; or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.