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BEACH

Police Warn About 'Surfer-Type' Prowler

September 24, 1998

Police warned residents that a "surfer-type" prowler has been walking through open doors and windows of a beach-side neighborhood to fondle sleeping women.

The prowler has entered at least five apartments in the past nine months, targeting a neighborhood bordered by 15th and 19th streets and Walnut and Acacia avenues, police said.

Victims have described him as white, 20 to 30 years old, with dark hair, who gave them the impression he is a surfer. He is 5-foot-8 to 6-foot.

He enters unlocked windows or sliding doors, usually from midnight to 3 a.m. Some of these apartments were on the second floor.

Several investigators noticed a pattern of similar crimes and realized from the descriptions it likely was the same man, Senior Officer Mike Kelly said.

"The suspect is going into people's homes and gawking at or fondling women," Kelly said.

Police wanted to remind people that doors and windows should never be unsecured. Home-improvement stores sell devices that can block windows and doors so they are partially open but still safe, Kelly added.

Anyone with information is asked to call (714) 375-5066.

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