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Police say sexual assaults and burglaries in Central El Paso's Manhattan Heights are connected; suspect description updated

By Jerry Najera, Multimedia Journalist
Published On: Jun 28 2013 01:23:05 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 02 2013 10:59:27 AM CDT

Three burglaries have led to sexual assault in the Manhattan Heights district and surrounding areas.

El Paso, Texas -

July 2, 2013 update: The El Paso Police Departments Crimes Against Persons Unit continues to investigate a series of burglaries which have occurred in the Manhattan Heights neighborhood. Initially it was reported that the suspect had tattoos on his neck. At this time investigators DO NOT believe that is correct.

The suspect description is as follows:

Hispanic male in his 30's with medium to light medium complexion, between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10, clean shaven, short/shaven hair but not bald, crooked front teeth and tattoos on the upper and lower portions of his arms. The tattoo on his left arm is described as having some color. He is also believed to have a tattoo on his left lower leg. The suspect may have scratches to his face and neck area from one of his attacks.

Citizens are encouraged to remain vigilant and contact police at 915-832-4400 if they have information on these cases.

As always, Crime Stoppers of El Paso is available and will allow you to remain anonymous. You may also qualify for a cash reward. Crime Stoppers may be contacted at 915-566-8477.

June 28, 2013 story: A recent string of sexual assaults and burglaries have El Paso police and residents in Manhattan Heights in Central El Paso on high alert.

Police tell ABC-7 they suspect the break-ins are all being committed by the same person.

"About three weeks ago I got my first heads up about some thing that was happening in the neighborhood," said David Peregrino, who  has lived in the Manhattan Heights District for more than eight years. Manhattan Heights is bordered by Alabama, Grant and Richmond streets.

Peregrino says the neighborhood has been safe up until now.

Investigators tell ABC-7 the incidents have taken place in the Manhattan Heights neighborhood and the area surrounding Newman Park off of Alabama Street.

Police spokesman Chris Mears says the crimes are connected.

"We know at this point that we've identified three burglaries that ultimately had a sexual assault involved and we believe they were perpetrated by the same individual," said Mears.

The incidents have Peregrino and other residents from the area concerned.

"We are very upset, this is a beautiful neighborhood, we loved living here and it's very upsetting. We feel sick to our stomachs that people are being victimized in our neighborhood," said Peregrino.

He's even changing his daily routine.

"We keep our doors locked all the time, we keep our front and backyard lit very well and I'll escort my wife to our car before she goes to work," he said.

Police say the incidents have all occurred at night.

They also want to remind residents to be extra careful.

"Lock your doors, don't answer the door if you don't know who's at your door and if you see anything suspicious please notify the police immediately," said Mears.

Police have described the Suspect as a 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 Hispanic male in his 30s , medium build, tattoos on his arms, and is also likely to have scratches on his neck and arms.

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