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Suspect Arrested in Inland Rape Cases

September 07, 1986

Sheriff's deputies said Saturday that a 30-year-old diesel mechanic who was arrested in connection with two rapes may be responsible for as many as 10 others committed in East County since June, 1985.

Carlos Antonio Hinojosa was arrested at his place of employment in El Cajon on Friday, Deputy John Scheck said. He was booked on suspicion of two counts of forcible rape, two counts of burglary and one count of assault with a deadly weapon in two separate cases in East County. He was being held at County Jail downtown in lieu of $46,000 bail.

"The method employed in the crimes strongly resembles that employed by the perpetrator of a series of rapes in East County since June of 1985," Scheck said. "This includes attacking the victims inside their homes, usually after a husband or a boyfriend or a family member has just left. A weapon is usually, if not always, used, and the incidents occur during nighttime hours in the cities of El Cajon and Santee."

Detective John Marlow said Hinojosa was arrested in connection with only two rapes because authorities did not wait until the investigation was completed because the they feared another rape could occur in the interim.

The suspect was identified as a result of an inquiry through the Cal-Id automated fingerprint system recently installed in San Diego, Scheck said. Since July, San Diego police and sheriff investigators have been able to use this computerized method of studying sets of fingerprints removed from the scenes of crimes.

"We were asked why it took us so long to identify the suspect if he could be related to crimes committed as long ago as June of last year," Scheck said. "This is because since the ID system was installed in July, we have been pulling all the back files that we could get any sets of fingerprints from."

Scheck stressed that the investigation is continuing and that the Santee subdivision of the Sheriff's Department has been working with the El Cajon Police Department.

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