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SLO Police Seek Burglar-Rapist

By Neil Farrell

San Luis Obispo Police are looking for a man they suspect of entering two homes within a week and sexually assaulting a total of three women, making his get-away into the night after the second attack, wearing nothing but socks and a shirt.

According to Sgt. Trevor Shalhoob, the first case happened the night of July 8, when a woman in the first block of Los Palos Dr., which is located off LOVR between Hwy 101 and South Higuera Street, reported a sexual assault.

“When officers arrived,” Sgt. Shalhoob said in a news release, “the suspect was no longer inside the residence or in the area. The female victim, who is in her 20s, told officers [that] shortly before calling police, she awakened to a male, unknown to her, in her bedroom. 

“The male suspect was holding a sharp object and threatened to harm her if she screamed. The suspect sexually assaulted her and fled from the residence.”

Sgt. Shalhoob said officers scoured the area but were unable to find the suspect. Police collected evidence from the scene and are in the process of analyzing it for clues as to the identity of such a brazen criminal.

“During the investigation,” Sgt. Shalhoob said, “it was determined the suspect likely made entry into the residence through an unlocked door.”

The suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his late 30s, 5-feet 5-inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds, with short, dark hair, and wearing a black T-shirt.

In the second case, two women in the 1500 block of Osos St., which is in the Downtown Area and across town from Los Palos Drive, called police at 5:46 a.m. Friday, July 13, to report an attempted sexual assault that had just occurred.

“When officers arrived,” Lt. Brian Amoroso said in a news release, “the suspect was no longer inside the residence and had fled the scene. Officers quickly set up a perimeter of the surrounding area.”

Cal Poly Police and a police dog from Paso Robles Police joined the search, but they were unable to locate their suspect.

“Two female victims in their 20s told officers that they awoke to an unknown male in their bedroom,” Lt. Amoroso said. “The male suspect was holding a knife and threatened to harm them if they screamed.” The suspect tried to assault both women, but they fought back.

“Both females fought the suspect,” Lt. Amoroso said, “causing him to flee from the residence. Every available officer responded to the scene and continued to search for the suspect and evidence.”

They found a potential witness who told police that he or she saw the suspect “running past the area of Osos and Leff towards the railroad station,” he said. “Officers continued their search in that area but were unsuccessful in locating the suspect.”

Police determined this time the suspect entered the residence through an unlocked window. He left some other clues behind too, as Lt. Amoroso said the man reportedly ran off without his pants or underwear.

“The suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his 40s, 5’7” tall, muscular, wearing black boxer shorts and a nylon over his head. When the suspect fled the crime scene, he was reportedly only wearing a black shirt and socks.” He confirmed that the suspect fled with a bare bottom, but declined to confirm that the man left his pants behind. 

“The witness reported only seeing him wearing a shirt and socks,” Lt. Amoroso said. “We are not commenting on the type of evidence recovered at this time.”

The cases are frighteningly similar and police feel there is much in common with the two cases.

“The suspect description and actions are similar to the sexual assault that occurred on July 8,” Lt. Amoroso said, “and we are looking into the possibility that the crimes may be related.”

Police have turned to the public for help, as having an armed suspect brazen enough to enter homes and assault women, should be considered extremely dangerous. 

“We are currently seeking any video surveillance that may have captured the suspect entering or leaving the area of the 1500 block of Osos St. and the area of Osos Street and Leff Street towards the railroad station. If you have surveillance video in these areas, please contact the San Luis Obispo Police Department,” Lt. Amoroso said.

SLOPD is also asking for surveillance video from the area of the first attack, Los Palos Drive.

Readers are asked to contact SLOPD Det. Chastain at (805) 594-8023 with any information related to the first crime on Los Palos. Or call Det. Pellouso with information related to the second crime on Osos Street at (805) 594-8091.

Readers are reminded to lock the doors and windows of both their residences and vehicles at all times.

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