Four sexual assault and indecent exposure offences in Chard thought to be linked

This is The West Country: Four sexual assault and indecent exposure offences in Chard thought to be linked Four sexual assault and indecent exposure offences in Chard thought to be linked

POLICE are increasing patrols after four sexual assault and indecent exposure offences in Chard are being treated as linked.

The first incident was reported to police on October 20 and the latest incident was on Wednesday (November 27).

Detectives in Yeovil are carrying out a full and thorough investigation into the offences and have released a description of the offender.

The details of the four incidents are:

· A 77-year-old woman reported seeing a man touching himself inappropriately in Elder Close, at about 9pm on Sunday, October 20.

· A 13-year-old girl was grabbed by a man in Combe Street at 9pm on Tuesday, November 5. She managed to run off and was unharmed.

· Two 15-year-old girls saw a man touching himself inappropriately in Brian Mooney Close at about 8.30pm on Sunday, November 10.

· A 73-year-old woman walking her dog in Snowden Park, Mitchell Gardens at about 4.40pm on Wednesday, November 27 saw a man expose himself. He touched the victim inappropriately before running off towards the town centre.

Following initial enquiries, the four incidents are being linked due to the similar descriptions given by the victims.

The man is described as white, between 5ft 4ins and 5ft 8ins, of slim to medium build, in his twenties, with short dark hair and stubble.

He wears glasses and in two of the incidents was seen wearing a dark-coloured hooded top or body warmer with a fur-edged hood.

DS Jon Hooper, of Yeovil CID, said: “We are concerned about this series of incidents in the Chard area, which we believe are linked, but I would like to reassure people that we have a team of detectives and officers working on identifying the offender, who we believe is probably local to the area.

“We have been reviewing CCTV footage and carrying out house-to-house enquiries, but need further help from the public.

“Do you recognise the description of the man? Have you seen anyone acting suspiciously, or been a victim of a similar incident, but have not yet come reported it to police? Every piece of information is important to our investigation.

“We are increasing patrols of the local area and would urge anyone with queries or concerns to speak to their neighbourhood policing team on 101.”

“In light of the recent incidents, I would encourage people to familiarise themselves with personal safety advice, including trying to avoid walking or jogging in remote areas after dark, taking sensible precautions such as sticking to well-lit streets and remaining vigilant at all times.”

More advice can be found at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/community_safety

If you can help with the investigation, call DS Jon Hooper via the 24-hour enquiry centre on 101.

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