LONG BEACH — Police announced Monday they are searching for a sexual battery suspect who has grabbed and groped about a dozen girls and women over the past two months.
Numerous incidents have been reported since late September with the victims varying in age from 12 years old to women in their mid-60 s, said Marlene Arrona, a Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman.
All the victims were walking on a sidewalk when the suspect rode up behind them on a bicycle and grabbed their breasts or buttocks. The majority of the incidents have occurred on Fourth Street between Chestnut and Junipero avenues, Arrona said.
Based on the method used in the attacks, and the descriptions given by the victims, detectives believe the acts are the work of one suspect. He is described as a male white or Hispanic, about 25 to 50 years old, 5-feet, 6 inches to 6 feet tall, 180 to 240 pounds, with gray and black hair.
He has been seen wearing a large over-sized white T-shirt, a hooded sweatshirt (gray or blue) or a white flannel shirt, and either dark shorts or jeans and black "skate style" sneakers.
The bicycle is described as a dark or silver mountain bike, BMX bike and a low-rider bicycle, Arrona said.
The dates, locations and times of the incidents are as follows:
Sept. 24, 8:40 p.m., Fourth Street and Alamitos Avenue
Sept. 24, 9:30 p.m., Fourth Street and Nebraska Avenue
Sept. 26, 9:30 p.m., Fourth Street and Cherry Avenue
Oct. 12, 6:40 p.m., Junipero Avenue and Third Street
Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m., Fourth Street and Cedar Avenue
Nov. 19, 3:45 p.m., Fourth Street and Elm Avenue
Nov. 19, 4:30 p.m., Walnut Avenue and Erie Street
Nov. 19, 5 p.m., Fourth Street and Chestnut Avenue
Nov. 19, 7:15 p.m., Fourth Street and Lime Avenue
Nov. 20, 6:30 p.m., Sixth Street and Pacific Avenue
Nov. 22, 9:55 p.m., Broadway at Hermosa Avenue.
Authorities warned that people should always be alert and pay attention to their surroundings. If someone appears suspicious, or is acting suspiciously, call 911 immediately, Arrona said.
Anyone that has been a victim of such crimes and has not come forward is also asked to do so immediately, and anyone who recognizes the suspect's description is asked to call LBPD Sex Crimes Detective Mike Solomita at 562-570-7368.
Anonymous tips can be made by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES OR go to www.lacrimestoppers.org.