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Police check similarities in recent crimes
by Tribune Staff
Nov 03, 2011 | 852 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Surveillance photos - This man is wanted by police regarding the rape of an 85-year-old woman Friday in Sparks.
Surveillance photos - This man is wanted by police regarding the rape of an 85-year-old woman Friday in Sparks.
SPARKS — Police reported Thursday that they are investigating two similar crimes that have occurred in the last five days.

In both incidents, elderly women have been the target of home burglaries, robberies and sexual or attempted sexual assaults. There are some similar circumstances in both incidents.

In both incidents, according to a statement from Deputy Police Chief Brian Allen, the victims have been at local casinos just prior to the attacks. In both instances, the suspect makes entry into the residences through unsecured windows or rear doors. It appears that the suspect has been “lying in wait” inside the residence when the victim returns.

The first crime occurred at about 8 p.m. Friday in the 1600 block of I Street. An elderly woman was returning home from a local casino when she was attacked in her bedroom by the suspect, who police say entered her apartment through a window and was lying in wait. After sexually assaulting the victim, the suspect robbed her of an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene.

The second crime occurred at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, when Sparks police officers responded to a call in the 1700 block of Round Mountain Drive. Officers met with the victim, a 61-year-old woman, who said she had returned home from an evening out at local casino when she was confronted by the suspect in the bedroom of her residence. It appears that the suspect was waiting for the victim in the residence when she arrived home. The suspect forced the victim to give him and undetermined amount of cash before fleeing the residence. The victim in this case was not injured.

The suspect indicated to both victims that he had been watching them prior to the attacks, and in both cases, the suspect has taken cash from the victims after the attack.

The suspect’s description in both cases is similar: a Hispanic male about 5-feet 8-inches tall with a medium build and wearing blue jeans, possibly with a logo on the back pockets, and black tennis shoes. It appears that the suspect is mobile since the crimes have not been in the same area of Sparks.

In addition to the two Sparks cases, the Reno Police Department is investigating an incident with similar characteristics that occurred about six weeks ago. In this attempted sexual assault/robbery, a woman came home and was attacked by a suspect inside her residence in September. The suspect, whose description is similar to the two above cases, attempted to sexually assault the woman and stole her ATM card. 

The Sparks Police Department is working with the Reno Police Department, Washoe County Crime Lab, the Regional Sex Offender Notification Unit, the Nevada Department of Public Safety and other area law enforcement to try to identify the suspect.

The suspect description based on all these cases is a Hispanic male in his late 20s or early 30s, about 5-feet 8-inches to 5-feet 10-inches tall weighing between 150 and 170 pounds with dark hair. The suspect has a heavy Spanish accent and has been wearing dark-colored jeans and black tennis shoes in both instances.

The Sparks Police Department is asking anyone who might have any knowledge of the suspect or has seen any suspicious vehicles or activities in either of these areas to contact the Sparks Police Department Detective Division at 353-2225 or the Communications Section at 353-2231.

Witnesses can remain anonymous and contact Secret Witness at 322-4900.

The Sparks Police Department also would like to remind the community to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to protect yourself and residences. Make sure that all residential doors and windows are fully secured. Be alert of your surrounding and your neighborhoods.

For more crime prevention techniques and assistance, contact the Crime Prevention Unit at 353-2299.
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