VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — The LAPD is hoping the public can help them nab a sexual assault suspect they said attacked a woman inside a Van Nuys hair salon.
Authorities believe the man waited until all the patrons had left the business Tuesday night, around closing time, before forcing the employee to the back of the store and sexually assaulting her.
KCAL9’s Tom Wait spoke to people who work in the area who are now on edge.
Security video shows a man in the moments before police say he carried out a sexual assault.
“My office is right there – the tax office. So, they got attacked while I was working,” says Christina Ordonez.
Wait showed her pictures of the alleged attacker.
“Doesn’t look familiar. This is scary. This is scary,” she said.
Detectives say the victim did not know her attacker. They say after he entered the establishment, he made conversation and then somehow forced the victim to the back.
Authorities said nothing else was taken from the salon, and it does not appear the suspect was carrying a weapon. For the many businesses on Vanowen where this happened, some are going to now be extra careful.
“Like at 9 p.m. on the dot, I lock my door,” said Ordonez.
“We are going to take more precautions obviously, now that we know there’s somebody out there,” said another.
One person in the area said they recognized the man but could not give a full name. Police are hoping someone recognizes him from the security camera images.
Police said the suspect left DNA evidence at the scene and they’re hoping to match him to the criminal database.