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Police Search For Clues, Connections In Assaults

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(Source: KDKA-TV)

(Source: KDKA-TV)

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Three local police departments are working together to solve a series of rapes.

Sources at the Ross Township Police Department say they are working on leads. A detective told KDKA’s Kym Gable they’re not ruling anything out.

The most recent attack happened early Monday morning at the Cascades apartment complex in Ross. Two others assaults were reported on Saturday — one at a townhouse community in Hopewell Township and another at The Woodhawk Club in Ross Township.

Police are now also trying to determine if a sexual assault in McCandless last month could be connected. In that attack, a woman reported that her attacker was waiting in her apartment when she returned to the Lincoln Club Apartments on December 6th. The woman described her attacker as an olive skinned or black man.

The descriptions of the suspect in the Ross and Hopewell attacks are very similar: an African-American male wearing a ski mask or knit cap, dark hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans.

Ross Township Police Sergeant Benjamin Dripps told KDKA-TV that they have stepped up patrols in the area. “We’ve identified approximately 25 apartment complexes in the township and we have saturated those areas with patrols and again we are dedicated all the resources we have.”

As police pool their efforts to keep people safe, they’re urging people in the community to help as well. “It’s a help when people are looking out for one another,” Sgt. Dripps added, “noticing vehicles and what people do and don’t belong on your street and in your neighborhood.”

The attacks have women like Sandy Defibaugh on edge. “I didn’t sleep. I was up all night. I was very nervous. I was scared and I don’t expect that in our neighborhood.”

Ross Township police are working with other departments — consulting with Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala’s office in the sex crimes unit as well as the sexual assault team with the City of Pittsburgh police.

They say they are putting all efforts into the investigation. “We are going to do whatever is possible to bring this to a successful conclusion,” assured Sgt. Dripps.

RELATED STORIES/LINKS:

Hopewell Twp. Police Investigating Sexual Assault (1/10)
Sexual Assaults Put Ross Residents On Alert (1/10)
Police Investigate 2nd Sexual Assault In Ross Twp. (1/9)
Police Searching For Sexual Assault Suspect (1/9)
Police Seek Suspect In Alleged Sexual Assault In Ross Township (1/7)
Ross Township Police Department
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