RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CBSLA.com) — A serial rapist is targeting female massage therapists in three Southern California counties, authorities said.
Riverside police say the suspect has assaulted 30 women at massage businesses in Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.
Officers said the suspect pretends to be a customer. Once inside the massage room, he allegedly pulls out a gun and rapes the female massage therapist.
Police said the rapes began in 2009 and detectives connected them through DNA evidence.
San Bernardino massage spa owner Lisa Muller told KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz no one has ever been assaulted at her business, but she has heard of women being attacked on the job.
“Of course it’s scary,” she said.
Muller said she makes sure her employees are safe by using male and female therapists and conducting massages in one large room instead of separate spaces.
“Everybody can see, so don’t have just the one-by-one,” she said.
“It’s really scary to hear that because I had no idea that was even occurring,” customer Jamie Brownow said. “I’m going to be very cautious now when I walk into places.”
Detectives believe there could be more than 30 victims and are asking anyone with information to contact authorities.
Surveillance footage of the suspect is due to be released in a press conference Wednesday.