Cops say they're looking for a possible serial slasher who follows young women into stores, distracts them, cuts them, then slips away.
On Monday, around 5:30 p.m., an 18-year-old woman was shopping at a Forever XXI store in Fair Oaks Mall when she noticed clothes that had fallen off of a rack behind her. She saw a man bending down to pick them up, felt a sharp pain and thought that one of the hangars had struck her.
She realized shortly afterwards that her denim shorts had been slashed. Her buttocks were bleeding after being cut one and a half inches. Store employees contacted security, who called the police.
Fairfax County Police believe that this isn't an isolated incident, and may be linked to a string of other four incidents in county retail stores since February. One of the most recent occurred in a Marshall’s at Greenbriar Shopping Center around 2:45 p.m. on June 20th, police said.
The man may also have struck at Fair Oaks two other times—once at Champs on February 14th, and again on May 15th at Ann Taylor. Still another incident occurred at the H&M in Tysons Mall on June 18th.
To see a map of the incidents, click here.
The man was described as Hispanic, late 20’s, around 5 feet 6 inches tall and heavy-set. He wore white shorts and a short-sleeved shirt in the July 25 assault.
So far, his victims are all teenagers or women in their early 20s.
Police ask anyone with information to contact Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.
Note: Police have issued a correction on an earlier photo that accompanied this article. The photo has since been taken down. The article has also been updated to include additional information on the attacks.