Police in Irvine said Saturday they are seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspect who tried to rob two women within three hours.
A woman walking alone in what police described as a “greenbelt area near Chateau Circle” at around 7:30 p.m. on Friday was approached by a man wearing a white bandana across his face, said Farrah Emani of the Irvine Police Department.
“The suspect pointed what appeared to be a handgun at the victim and ordered her to the ground,” Emani said. “He demanded the victim’s cell phone and money and then sexually battered the victim by groping her over her clothing.”
When the woman screamed the suspect fled the scene on foot without her property, Emani said. The woman called 911 and officers arrived at the scene and attempted to locate the suspect.
About three hours later, a woman in the Culver Plaza shopping center at 15315 Culver Drive was approached by a man who tried to snatch her purse, Emani said. The woman struggled to hold her purse and was knocked or fell to the ground, suffering some abrasions to her elbow. The suspect fled on foot without the woman’s property.
That suspect was not wearing a bandana and no weapon was seen during the second attack. Police believe it was the same suspect from the earlier crime, Emani said.
The suspect was described as a man in his mid-20s to 30s, with a 5- foot, 8-inch to 6-foot, 1-inch tall muscular build, with possibly a dark complexion. At the time of the crimes, he may have been wearing a dark hoodie and a pink or red shirt and jeans. Irvine police asked anyone with any information regarding the two attempted robberies to call them at (949) 724-7168.
—City News Service
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