The Irvine Police Department advised Thursday that it continues to search for a suspect who may have harassed and exposed himself to children on multiple occasions in the Woodbridge area. Police are also urging any victims to call 9-1-1 immediately.
The latest crime reportedly occurred at about 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, near Eastshore and East Yale Loop. Authorities say a man exposed himself after asking a 12-year-old victim for the time.
Two weeks earlier, on Feb. 12, a man allegedly exposed himself to one high school student and harassed another at about 3:20 p.m., while the two 15-year-old girls were walking home near West Yale Loop and Warner Avenue.
The suspect has been described as a male with light skin, possibly 20 to 30 years old, with short, brown hair. Detectives believe he may have also been involved in similar incidents in the Woodbridge area on Jan. 17 and Feb. 4. He allegedly drives a dark four-door sedan with tinted windows. A news release for the Feb. 12 crime, which includes a composite sketch of the suspect, can be accessed by here.
Police have maintained an increased presence in recent weeks, particularly around local schools, and the Irvine Unified School District has pledged its ongoing assistance, including communications. Once again, victims are advised to call 9-1-1 immediately, and anyone with information is asked to contact the department at 949-724-7200.
IUSD and IPD are also jointly encouraging families to remind children of the following safety strategies:
- Stay alert and aware of your surroundings
- If approached by a suspicious stranger, run away and immediately notify your parents or a trusted adult
- If wearing headphones, look for approaching people or vehicles as you may not hear them
- Whenever possible, walk with a partner or in a group
- Stay away from remote or unfamiliar areas
- Stay on the part of the walkway that is farthest away from shrubs, dark doorways and alleys where people can hide
- Do not approach vehicles that may slow or stop ahead of you
- If you see suspicious activity or persons, immediately leave the area and call 9-1-1
- Always avoid substances that may make you vulnerable, such as drugs and alcohol