Santa Barbara- S County

Police Searching for Groper After More Sexual Assaults

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The man suspected of groping as many as 10 woman in Santa Maria this month, has done it again; twice. The most recent attack happened Wednesday afternoon.

"We thought he was gone. Unfortunately, this keeps happening and it makes it kind of scary," says Stephanie Vega, a Santa Maria walker.

After a quiet week, Stephanie Vega, like many, thought the groper was gone. Stephanie and her dog Peeka, showed up at the Santa Maria Levee Trail an hour after a woman was sexually assaulted on Wednesday. Police say the man came up behind the woman and grabbed her.

""It's definitely scary," says Vega.

"We can't actually point to a time that he tends to attack. It's been all over," says Sergeant Paul Van Meel, Santa Maria Police Department.

On Tuesday evening, a similar incident happened in the area of Cook and Lincoln.

The groper appears to be an Hispanic male, in his early to mid 20s, with a thin mustache. During the most recent attack he was wearing a blue Dallas Cowboy zip up hoodie, a red hat, and riding a black mountain bike.

"A lot of people could potentially fit that description. In fact on the levee there are a lot of people who use it all the time," says Van Meel.

Police say in one case the man exposed himself and tried to grab the victim.

While none of the victims have been physically hurt, Stephanie Vega remains on high alert.

"It's definitely scary because it should be a place to go relax and not to feel afraid," says Vega.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact the Santa Maria Police Department.

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