Downtown sex criminal hits other parts of the city

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February 24, 2003 // UPDATED 9:09 am - April 30, 2007
By: Ellen Nigon
Ellen Nigon

A man who has sexually assaulted and robbed at least three women in Downtown may be involved in four attempted kidnappings of women in other Minneapolis neighborhoods, police say. The latest attempt came Feb. 20 in northeast Minneapolis.

Police warn that this pattern does not mean this criminal has left Downtown. "We can't say he's out of Downtown," said Lt. Mike Sauro, head of the Minneapolis Police Criminal Investigations Sex Crimes unit.

The suspect is described as a black male 5'8" to 6'2" with a thin to medium build, between the ages of 25 and 35. Generally, he attacks women walking alone in the dark to their cars and tries to force them into the car.

"If he's successful in forcing them into their car, he then robs them, steals their car and sometimes sexually assaults them," Sauro said.

Sauro said he thinks the suspect is most likely homeless and a drug addict. "There's a strong possibility that he's a drug addict because of the money thing. Usually, when people do robberies for money it's for drugs," he said. "I'm thinking he's homeless because of his pattern all over the city."

According to Sauro, police could be very close to catching this suspect, or be very far away. "We're anywhere from five minutes to five years (from catching him). A lead could come in in five minutes, or a lead may not come in. We're pursuing all leads that we have," he said. "Right now we've just got a general physical description and a composite drawing that looks like a lot of people."

Sauro recommends the following safety precautions:

  • Women should walk to their vehicles with someone they trust;

  • Before entering the vehicle, look to see if anyone suspicious is near;

  • Make sure no one is already inside the vehicle;

  • Once inside the vehicle, lock all doors and roll up windows;

  • Do not let anyone inside the vehicle;

  • If someone does try to enter the vehicle, drive away;

  • If you have a cell phone, call 911 immediately.