(November 10, 2002) -- With a serial rape suspect on the loose believed linked to 31 attacks on women in Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos and Seattle since 1996, LBPD is urging the public to report anything unusual, even if it seems minor.
The announcement came at a news conference held at LBPD HQ attended by officials including LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill, LBPD Chief Anthony Batts and the Chiefs of Police of Huntington Beach and Los Alamitos.
Police are urging the public to report things that seem unusual, day or night: unfamiliar people who don't seem to belong in a neighborhood; changes residents themselves didn't make, such as screens removed, doors, gates and windows nudged open; lights removed...and extended dog barking. Such disparate indicators when put in context could help police apprehend the man initially dubbed the ELB/Belmont Shore rapist. He has since been implicated in attacks in other cities but his victims have primarily been in LB.
Police say the serial rapist apparently enters women's homes through unlocked windows or doors. He sometimes naked. He wears a mask or face shield or covers victims' faces and may have also worn wigs or altered his appearance during the attacks, making it difficult to get a good, consistent suspect description. (Descriptions thus far have varied).
Police say they have DNA evidence in at least 13 of the 31 attacks...and the suspect has left fingerprints at crime scenes.
LBPD believe he identifies his victims ahead of time and plans entry and exit to their home and goes between yards using backyards, alleys and across neighboring properties.
LBPD Chief Anthony Batts indicated the suspect has also removed or broken motion detector lights or porch lights at some homes of victims or their neighbors.
The suspect has also apparently been marked by some women who fought back, leaving him with facial scratches (in August) and a finger injury during the November 7 attack in the area of Lakewood Blvd. and Stearns St. first reported among LB media by LBReport.com.
Police urge the public to keep all doors and windows locked. They also urge the public not to make assumptions about who does or doesn't look "dangerous." If something seems unusual, report it.
Information or tips may be left on a recorded task force hotline: 1-866-600-1110.
To convey immediate breaking information, dial 911.