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TORRANCE (CBSLA.com) – Authorities are searching for a man who sexually battered an employee in a store in a popular Torrance shopping mall in February.

The incident occurred at around 6 p.m. on Feb. 21 in the Del Amo Fashion Center. Torrance police publicly released the crime bulletin Thursday.

According to police, the suspect posed as a customer and asked for help from a female employee before he groped her. He then asked if she would like to go to the back of the store so he could take pictures of her. The suspect told the employee his name was Steve and claimed to run an online photography business.

He then left the store.

Torrance police have released surveillance photos of the suspect. He is described as white, 40, 5-foot-8 with an average build, white short hair, a light beard and wearing a blue sweater and gray basketball shorts.

In a Facebook post, Torrance police said they do not immediately post the crime bulletin to the public for a variety of reasons. Those include giving detectives time to investigate leads and jeopardizing the case by alerting suspects to the fact the crime is being investigated, which could prompt suspects to flee or destroy evidence.

Anyone with information on the crime should call police at 310-618-5570.

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