Cops say a sexual predator is on the loose in the San Fernando Valley.

They suspect the man has committed 9 sexual assaults and two attempted kidnappings, mostly in the Arleta area, according to an announcement from the LAPD this week. He even exposed himself, according to cops.

They're warning women to be vigilant. What baffles us, as usual, is why the department took so long to issue its warning:

The attacks began in January, according to its statement.

He has walked up behind women and groped them, and he's been spotted masturbating in his car near Arleta High School while attempting to lure girls into the vehicle, according to cops. The LAPD says …

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… On one occasion the suspect walked up behind a young woman walking to her home and grabbed both of her legs in an attempt to lift her off the ground. The victim struggled with the suspect and was able to break away.

Here's the LAPD's rundown of times and places for the alleged crimes so far:

1/1/2011 5 p.m. Beachy Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard

8/28/2011 5:50 p.m. Terra Bella and Beachy Avenue

9/2011 4 p.m. Beachy Avenue and Claretta Street

1/22/2012 8 a.m. Canterbury Avenue and Osborne Street

2/24/2012 7:30 a.m. Terra Bella Street and Beachy Avenue

2/27/2012 7:10 a.m. Arleta Avenue and Terra Bella Street

2/28/2012 4 p.m. Van Nuys Boulevard and Woodman Avenue

3/14/2012 9 p.m. 14000 block of Van Nuys Boulevard

3/29/2012 4:10 p.m. Beachy Avenue and Bromwich Street

The suspected troll is described as being of Latino or Asian descent, with short, curly dark hair, and possibly some facial hair. He's likely in his 30s, has a light complexion, weighs around 180 pounds, and measures 5 feet, 6 inches.

He was seen in a 2000s red or white Japanese car with the license plate covered. Here's the weirdest part, according to the LAPD:

It is possible that there is a second suspect who drives the suspect around.

Seen him? Call detectives at 818-838-9893.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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