By Kim Minugh and Bill Lindelof
Sacramento police are beefing up patrols in the Colonial Village neighborhood after an armed man ordered three women to expose themselves in that area Monday night.
The unknown man also attempted to rob those women, along with a fourth victim, though police suspect he possibly took property in only one incident, said police Sgt. Norm Leong.
Detectives also are looking into whether a fifth case, from earlier this month, is connected, Leong said. (See link below to Sacramento Police Department map.)
Monday night's attacks began about 6:30 p.m., when a woman getting out of her car near Quonset Drive and 25th Avenue was approached by a man armed with a gun, Leong said. The man tried to rob the victim, but he fled when she activated her car alarm.
About a half-hour later, another female victim was walking in the area when she, too, was approached by a man with a gun, Leong said. He tried to rob her, but she did not have any property with her.
The man then ordered the woman to expose herself, Leong said, and she complied. The man then fled.
Thirty minutes later, in the area of Fruitridge Road and Wilkinson Street, a woman getting out of her car was approached by an armed man, Leong said. He rifled through her property, though it's unclear whether he took anything, Leong said.
He then demanded that the victim expose herself. She complied, then screamed as a car approached, scaring off the robber, Leong said.
In the final incident, about 7:40 p.m., a woman was walking into an apartment complex parking lot when she was approached by a man with a gun.
He demanded that she expose herself, Leong said, but fled before she complied, possibly because a nearby resident came outside.
According to police, victims described the man in all four cases as a thin, black man in his 20s, 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet tall, wearing a ski mask, a black hooded sweatshirt or jacket and dark jeans. All four victims saw the man armed with a gun.
Leong said detectives believe the same man is responsible for all four attacks. He does not appear to be targeting any particular group of victims, Leong said: The victims range in age from 30s to 60s and are different ethnicities.
Detectives also are investigating whether the same man assaulted a woman Nov. 13 in the area of 76th Street and 25th Avenue, Leong said.
In that case, a woman was walking about 9:30 p.m. when she was approached by a man on a bicycle who indicated he had a gun, though none was seen, Leong said. The man demanded that the victim expose herself, and then sexually assaulted her before fleeing.
Leong declined to be more specific about the nature of the assault.
That victim described her assailant as a black man in his 20s, 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 120 pounds, and wearing dark clothing.
The nature and frequency of the incidents has police "very concerned," Leong said. The department has increased the number of patrol officers in the area, and have assigned multiple detectives to the case, he said.
"Within an hour, (the man) commits four different crimes and in each case it seems to escalate," the spokesman said. "We put out this (information) right away because we believe the people in the community need to know about this."
Detectives also hope that residents in the area will be vigilant and call in any suspicious or unusual activity to the department's non-emergency line, (916) 264-5471.
Police are reminding residents to be aware of their surroundings, particularly when parking or getting out of the car. If there is anyone suspicious in the area, drive away and call police.
They also recommend walking in well-lit and well-traveled areas and, when possible, not alone.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP or text in a tip to 274637. Enter "SACTIP" followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
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Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038.