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'Red car flasher' jumps naked from vehicle near Valley schools

MissionPolice released a sketch Thursday of the so-called red car flasher who jumps naked from his vehicle in front of teenage girls near Valley schools.

He has jumped out of his red car more than a dozen times since August 2011, police said. The most recent incident occurred Dec. 22 at Woodman Avenue and Lassen Street.

“Two victims in separate incidents have given us descriptions that have resulted in two nearly identical sketches,” said Det. Luz Montero, an investigator with the LAPD’s Mission area station. “We think the suspect lives in the area he prowls.”  

In the latest incident, an 18-year-old girl was walking on the sidewalk near Woodman Avenue and Lassen Street when she noticed a red compact car parked at the curb with the passenger door open.

Police said a fair-skinned man jumped out from the open car door, completely naked, and extended his arms toward the girl as if to hug or grab her. The girl ran, and the suspect drove away in the red car, said Lt. Paul Vernon of the Los Angeles Police Department.

“We want to warn the public again with this latest incident before the school session resumes, and we want everyone to be on the lookout for the red car flasher,” Montero said. “We’re calling him a flasher, but since he has tried to grab victims, the stakes are much higher.”

So far, no victims have been physically harmed, he said.

Investigators said the red compact car is a commonality among all the cases, as is the suspect’s light complexion and close-cropped, receding hair with a bit of gray. 

Victims described him as between 25 and 40 years old and of "medium to tall" height. He may have a scar on one cheek, and one victim thought his name might be Paul.

The red car may be an older import, such as a Honda, Toyota or Nissan, police said. In some cases, the suspect may have tried to hide the license plate with a towel or shirt. All the victims have been in their teens, detectives said.

They ask anyone with information to call them at (818) 838-9975.

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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Sketch of flasher suspect. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department

 
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