Man Dressed in ‘Preppy' Clothes Accused of Groping Women Turns Self in

22-year-old Alon Lerner is believed to have groped women in public and was booked on suspicion of sexual batter.

A young man accused of accosting several women while they were shopping at stores in Canoga Park and Woodland Hills, earning him the moniker of Preppy Store Masher, turned himself in Friday afternoon at the Los Angeles Police Department's Topanga Station.

Alon Lerner, 22, who lives with his parents in Winnetka, was subsequently booked at the Van Nuys jail on suspicion of felony sexual battery, with bail set at $65,000, according to the LAPD.

Lerner surrendered a day after the LAPD released security images of the suspect and asked for the public's help in identifying him.

"As a local, Lerner was readily recognized by several persons who saw his picture on the news... and sent in tips overnight," said Capt. Paul Vernon of the Topanga Station. "Detectives will work to confirm Lerner as the suspect based upon pictures and clothing and then present the case to the District Attorney."

Women shoppers told police the suspect walked up behind them and thrust his groin into their buttocks, LAPD Detective Arlene Padilla said.

"On one occasion, the suspect followed a woman through a parking garage and grabbed her from behind in a bear hug," Padilla said. "He released her quickly, and she chased him away."

Lerner has no prior criminal history, according to police.

Anyone with additional information on this case was asked to call Padilla at (818) 756- 3376, or (877) 527-3247. Tipsters can also Call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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