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Published: Wednesday, 3/10/2010

Toledo police search for suspect they say robbed, assaulted multiple women

BLADE STAFF

After police say a woman was sexually assaulted by a man who approached as she left her job at a fast food restaurant, police are convinced the same man is responsible for robbing at least four other women at gunpoint in the last eight days.

Police have released surveillance photos taken of the man before he allegedly tried to rob a female customer outside the Central Market, 330 West Central Ave. about 12:05 a.m. Tuesday.

The video shows the man, described by the victim as a black male about 6-feet and 210 pounds, look over at the victim in the store as he purchased a small item there. He walked to her van parked by the front door, entered the unlocked vehicle by the rear passenger door and waited for her in the back seat.

In a separate incident about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, a 32-year-old woman was leaving her job at McDonald's at Collingwood Boulevard and Dorr Street when the suspect — identified by police as the same man in the surveillance video taken during the Central Market robbery — approached her and demanded cash, Sgt. Sam Harris said.

When she produced only a few dollars, the suspect allegedly forced the victim to drive him to the parking lot at the old Washington School at Collingwood and Palmwood Avenue. There he forced her to perform sexual acts before fleeing on foot, Sergeant Harris said.

She was treated at Toledo Hospital.

During a news conference Wednesday at which police issued the surveillance photos of the suspect, Capt. Ray Carroll said police believe the suspect is capable of a repeat performance and urged the community to help police identify the man in the photos.

In the most of the recent cases, the suspect is accused of hiding in the backseat of a woman's unlocked vehicle, and waiting until the she starts to drive away before he uses a gun to demand cash or orders



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