String of groping assaults may be related, police say

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SAN DIEGO -- Authorities alerted the public Tuesday to a series of possibly related groping assaults targeting pedestrians in the Nestor area since last fall.

The most recent of the three crimes occurred about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, when an unidentified heavyset man grabbed a woman's breast while walking past her in the area of Iris Avenue and Oro Vista Road and then fled to the south, according to San Diego police.

The victim described the assailant as a roughly 5-foot-6-inch, 220-pound Latino who appeared to be in his early 20s, Lt. Brent Williams said.

Investigators believe the same man may be responsible for two highly similar crimes that occurred in the 1500 block of Oro Vista Road on Oct. 30 and Jan 17, the lieutenant said.

"To hear about this guy is really scary. It kind of worries me," said Sabrina Santos, who walks through the area from time to time.

"Definitely believe it could evolve, turn into something more serious, but what concerns us is the number of cases that we have especially if it's the same person," said Lt. Brent Williams.

Williams advises women not to walk by themselves, especially after dark.

Anyone with information about any of the cases was asked to call San Diego police at (619) 531-2000.

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