Detectives are searching for a gun-toting robber who has committed nearly a dozen hold-ups in the same neighborhood over the past five weeks. In one of the cases, police say he sexually assaulted the victim.
The young, thinly-built man robbed at least 10 men, women and families at gunpoint over the past five weeks over a 10 block area in West Philadelphia, according to Philadelphia Police.
All of the robberies took place in an area between 46th and 50th Streets from east to west and Spruce Street and Warrington Avenue from north to south.
Detectives say some of the robberies took place in broad daylight and in one instance a woman was sexually assaulted.
That victim, who didn't want to be formally interviewed, said the man pulled a gun on her as she walked her dog near 50th Street and Hazel Avenue on the morning of Oct. 14. The 29-year-old gave him $50, but then he grabbed and dragged her into an alley where he sexually assaulted her.
Police say they have stepped up patrols in the neighborhood, which is a mix of longtime residents, families and young professionals who work at nearby institutions like the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Resident Amanda Cottone called the incidents "very scary."
"I hope they catch him soon," she said. "Definitely giving the neighborhood a reputation that's not characteristic of what it's like to live around here."
Patty Bulack, the founder of the 48th Street Neighbors neighborhood watch, feels residents need to take extra precautions as this criminal continues to walk the streets.
Here's a map of the area where the crimes took place: