WOODLAND HILLS—On Thursday, July 19, the Los Angeles Police Department released photos and videos of a man who has been accused of accosting and sexually harassing at least four separate women while they shopped at stores in Canoga Park and Woodland Hills.
The suspect is described as thin, dressed in a preppy manner, clean-cut and sporting a military style haircut. He appears to be in his mid 20s. Authorities believe that he might ride the Orange Line into Canoga Park. The reports of sexual assault have transpired between June 10 and June 11. The suspect accosted women at shoe stores, women’s clothing stores, and a large department store. Authorities have nicknamed the man “Preppy Store Masher.”
According to a press release from the LAPD Topanga Division, multiple women have accused the suspect of “Walking up behind them and thrusting his groin in their buttocks.”
During one of the assaults, the man approached a woman from behind while she was walking in a parking garage and embraced her in a “bear-hug.” He released her quickly, and she reportedly started chasing after him.
Arlene Padilla, lead investigator with the LAPD’s Topanga Division told ABC 7 News, “While none of the women were injured and the physical contact has been over clothing, we need to identify him quickly. His behavior is premeditated, as we can see from his movements in the stores, and our concern is, his behavior could escalate in boldness or aggression.” Padilla added, “He might be seen on the Orange Line or in any store between Fallbrook St. and DeSoto Ave., and Erwin St. to Sherman Way, which is the greater shopping area for the West San Fernando Valley.”
Anyone with details on this case is asked to call Det. Arlene Padilla, Topanga Detective Division, at (818) 756-3376. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.