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Cops tracking serial rapist in Kensington

Police are on the trail of a man who they say sexually assaulted three women at knifepoint last month in Kensington. The attacks took place along the Kensington Avenue corridor, which at this time last year was swarming with cops hunting the so-called Kensington Strangler.

The man is Hispanic, police said, in his mid-30s, and stands about 5'8". He has a heavy build and short, dark hair. He is clean-shaven, police said, and has tattoos on both forearms. He drives a white Volkswagon Jetta with the license plate HVD5131.

Cops have traced the car to someone in Norristown, said Capt. John Darby, head of the Special Victims Unit, but detectives are not certain whether the owner of the car is the assailant they're looking for.

The first assault was Nov. 15, around 6:30 a.m. near the 2800 block of Kensington Avenue. A 26-year-old woman told police she got into a man's car and they drove to an unknown location, where he sexually assaulted her while wielding a knife. Then, on Nov. 22, a 32-year-old woman told police she was forced into a car on the 1900 block of Harold Street around 7:30 a.m. and attacked.

Police recently got a report of another attack shortly after midnight on Nov. 22, near Kensington and Allegheny avenues.

Darby urged anyone with information to contact police.

"This has got us concerned," he said. "We're trying to get a violent offender off the streets, and all information is important to us."

Antonio Rodriguez, dubbed the "Kensington strangler," last winter targeted drug-addicted women who were working as prostitutes in the area. Rodriguez was ultimately charged in the deaths of three women raped and killed between November and December 2010.