Look alive, Los Angeles. We have a prolific rapist on the loose.
And he strikes in the core of our city, from the LAPD's Koreatown-area Wilshire Division to the Newton Division south of downtown and down to 77th Street Division in South L.A., according to the LAPD.
The Teardrop Rapist targets women and girls walking alone, and he does so in the early morning hours. He's stealth like a ninja, has hidden out without attacking for years, and seems to continue to get away with it.
Now the city of L.A. is offering big money for information leading to his capture and prosecution, according to an LAPD statement:
The suspect typically approaches women who are alone on their way to school or work or who are waiting at a bus stop, between the hours of 5:45 AM and 8:00 AM. The suspect converses with the victim and then threatens to kill the victim with a handgun or knife. The suspect forces the victim from the sidewalk to a secondary location, where he sexually assaults her.
The department attributes 25 attacks to him since 1996, although there might actually be as many as 28. It appears, at least for now, that there were no attacks between 2005 and late 2011 (which would lead one to wonder whether the attacker was behind bars at the time).
According to a department statement on the latest attack, in winter:
On November 10, 2011, around 5:30 a.m., a 15-year-old female Hispanic walking in the area of Adams Boulevard and Normandie Avenue was approached by a male who asked her for directions. He then produced a handgun and forced her to walk a short distance to a yard where he sexually assaulted her. Within weeks of the attack, it was linked by DNA evidence to a series of sexual assault cases that had previously been investigated by RHD.
Detectives identified 28 similar incidents of sexual assault that occurred between February 1996 and the most recent attack. The assaults have been linked through DNA evidence and/or the suspect's distinct mode of operation.
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His areas include, as we mentioned, Wilshire, Newton and 77th, but also Rampart (west of downtown) and Southwest (near USC). Since the LAPD Olympic Division was only a few years ago carved out of Rampart and Wilshire, we'd beware if you live, work or shop there too.
The suspect is described as a 40- or 50-something Latino, 5 feet, 2 inches to 5 feet, 6 inches, 130 to 170 pounds, with a possible mustache and a teardrop tattoo under one eye. Cops say he often wears a hoodie.
Know a creep who might fit the bill? Call 877-527-3247. There might be 50 large in it for you.