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Police Probe Links in Long Beach Attacks

April 24, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

Long Beach police are investigating whether the rapes of two women early Sunday were committed by the attacker in six other sexual assaults between 1997 and 1999.

The six rapes that occurred in east Long Beach from 1997 to 1999 have been linked through physical evidence, police said. The most recent rapes bear similarities to the older ones: The attacker enters the home through an unlocked door or window, the rapes occur late at night and the victims are older women, police said.

Detectives also are investigating whether an April 6 rape of a 54-year-old woman near Seventh Street and Studebaker Road was connected to the 1997-99 rapes, said police Sgt. Steve Filipini.

In those cases, the suspect was described by the victims to police as a slender white man, between 5 feet 9 and 5 feet 11 and 25 to 35 years of age.

The most recent rapes occurred between 3:30 and 4:30 a.m., both near Stearns Avenue and Bellflower Boulevard, Officer David Marander said. In the first attack Sunday, a man entered the home of a sleeping 74-year-old woman through an unlocked window and raped her, Marander said. The woman struggled with the suspect, whose face was covered, and he fled.

A short time later, a man entered the home of a 58-year-old woman through an unlocked door and sexually assaulted the woman, Marander said.

Although police have not positively linked all the attacks, there are enough similarities among the assaults to investigate links, Marander said. Anyone with information can call the Long Beach Police Department at (562) 570-7372.

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