Baltimore County police stepped up patrols yesterday by uniformed officers and Community Action Teams in the Wilkens and Woodlawn precincts after three similar sexual attacks in those areas in the past week.
Police said the timing of the rape of a woman in an apartment in the Academy Heights area of Catonsville about noon Tuesday and a similar attack on a clerk in a Catonsville warehouse business July 17 suggests the same man may have committed the crimes on his lunch break.
Descriptions of the assailant in five robberies and sex crimes that began Dec. 22 are similar -- including that the man has worn a suit and shown a dark-colored semiautomatic pistol. Police say they believe some of the crimes are linked.
A witness also reported that a 1993 or 1994 brown or maroon Nissan Maxima with "after-market" chrome tire rims was parked in the lot of the Catonsville business at the time of the July 17 rape. Police said they do not believe it was the assailant's car but would like to interview the owner.
Police shed new light yesterday on the Dec. 22 incident, at the Robert C. Richards clothing store in Security Square Mall.
A man put two children's Bear brand black winter jackets on lay-away Dec. 21, but the clerk did not take his name.
The man returned the next day, held up the store, forced the employees to disrobe to their underwear and stole money -- and the two jackets, reminding clerks that he had put them on hold the day before.
After a six-month break, the same man is believed to have held up the same clothing store July 4, again forcing the employees to undress before he fled with money, police said.
On July 16, a man meeting the general description of the clothing store robber held up a music store in the Security area. He captured two male customers who walked in, made them and a woman employee undress, then forced her to have sex with one of the men.
The two rapes in Catonsville followed.
Police prepared a sketch based on information provided by the victims at the music store who said their attacker was a dark-skinned black male in his 30s, about 6 feet 2 inches tall, with a slim build and a mustache. He wore a white brimless hat, a navy blue suit, black dress shoes and sunglasses.
Metro Crime Stoppers has offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to the capture and indictment of the rapist, who has also robbed several of his victims. The number is 410-276-8888 and calls can be made anonymously.
Pub Date: 7/24/97