Police Search for Attacker Who Assaulted Woman in Closed Store

The man pretended to be a customer and waited until others left before attacking the woman, police said

Police were hunting for an attacker Thursday in what investigators described as a random, violent rape in a Van Nuys store that had just closed for the night.

The assailant entered the store at closing time, waited for others to leave and then assaulted the female employee, police said.

"We are extremely concerned about a very violent crime," Lillian Carranza, Los Angeles Police Department captain, said. "I know this individual is a threat to the community members."

The woman in the store was closing up around 7 p.m. Tuesday when a man entered. Officers said the man forced her into the back of the store and assaulted her.

The man was caught on surveillance video at the store located in the 14500 block of Vanowen Street just before the rape occurred. Authorities declined to identify the store, citing the ongoing investigation.

"We need to get this predator off the streets," said LAPD Lt. Jim Gavin. "In my 28 years, I'll never forget this. This was shocking.

"I never imagined I would witness something like that based on video."

The police investigation determined that the attacker goes by the name of Enrique. He is about 30 years old, about 6 feet tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has crew-cut dark brown hair and brown eyes, and was wearing a green jacket and blue pants.

The rape had the community on edge as police tried to track down the attacker.

"I am here a lot of times really late by myself," Miriam Corbera, who owns a business nearby, said. "This is scary."

Anyone who recognizes the man in the video is asked to call Van Nuys detectives at 818-374-0008.

Contact Us