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Detectives Issue Warning on Westside Serial Rapist

September 18, 2003|Richard Winton | Times Staff Writer

Police are warning women on the Westside to keep their windows locked after three sexual assaults by a man who enters through unlocked windows and forces victims to submit by threatening their children.

Detectives suspect an attempted burglary Monday may be the work of a rapist dubbed the Westchester stalker, who is believed to be responsible for at least three assaults.

The rapist, police said, strikes in the early morning, enters through a window, wakes the victim and sexually assaults her, police said.

"He cases the locations ahead of time. He chooses single women with their kids," said Capt. Al Michelena, head of Robbery-Homicide Division. "He threatens to hurt the kids if they don't cooperate," Michelena said.

The latest attack occurred Sept. 7 about 5:30 a.m., when a 31-year-old woman was in bed inside her apartment in the 8900 block of Ramsgate Avenue.

The incidents began in late August. The other attacks occurred in the 5300 block of Knowlton Street in Westchester and the 900 block of North Victor Avenue in Inglewood.

In Monday's incident, police said, the man was startled when entering through the window of a Westchester home by a woman who was getting ready for work. The man fled.

Detectives describe the attacker as a black male, with hazel-green eyes and a short "fade" haircut (close-shaven on the sides). He is 5-feet-7 to 5-feet-9, and weighs about 170 to 180 pounds. Investigators say he may also have a mustache.

Investigators asked that anyone with information on the rapist contact them at (818) 756-8309 or after hours at (877) 529-3855.

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