Philadelphia police are searching for a man accused of luring at least three Kensington women into his car, then sexually assaulting them at gunpoint — and detectives believe there may be more victims who have not come forward.
The first known assault occurred around 5 a.m. on March 15, when a 35-year-old woman walking near Whitaker and Erie Avenues was offered a ride by a man in a dark gray Dodge Charger. When she got into the car, police said, the man pulled out a handgun and sexually assaulted her.
The second incident occurred around the same time on April 5, when the man approached a 28-year-old woman who was leaving a convenience store at East Tioga Street and Kensington Avenue and forced her into his car, police said. He drove her about a mile away, they said, and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint.
The third assault occurred April 21, when the man, this time driving a silver sedan, offered a ride to a 29-year-old woman at Kensington Avenue and Huntingdon Street. When she got into the car, police said, the man produced a gun, then drove her a few blocks away and physically assaulted and raped her. He then stole her iPhone and dropped her off on Broad Street, police said.
Capt. James Kearney said Tuesday that police believe there may be additional victims who have not come forward, and that the man may be targeting sex workers or women struggling with addiction.
“These are some of the most vulnerable women out there,” Kearney said at an afternoon news conference at Special Victims Unit headquarters.
“He’s preying on these women, who we believe he feels will not report it, and some of them, we think, are not,” he said. “We need to change that.”
Police obtained the offender’s DNA and video footage of the car, but the license plate was obscured, Kearney said.
Additional patrols are canvassing the area, he said. Police ask that victims or anyone with information about the crimes call 911 or SVU Office at 215-685-3251/3252.