UPDATE: Sexual Battery Cases Near Woodland Hills May Be Linked to 2 Other Cases
A man is accused of groping women in a busy South Tulsa shopping area. Police say three women have been groped near 71st in Memorial.
Late Tuesday afternoon police said the incidents may be linked to two other sexual battery cases, one in Bixby and one in Broken Arrow. In both those cases, a man entered a business and committed sexual battery on a female employee, police said.
Of the Tulsa cases, one incident happened in the parking lot of Woodland Hills Mall. The other two incidents occurred at nearby businesses. All three incidents happened during the day in public places. Area businesses said they are looking out for the suspect to make sure their customers stay safe.
PK at Judi's Wigs says she isn't letting the suspect scare off customers. She'll often walk customers to their car.
"We generally just make sure, 'Ma'am, do you have your key in your hand?', 'Ma'am is your purse zipped?', because sometimes ladies walk with their bag open," said PK.
Tulsa Police Officer Leland Ashley says women need to pay attention to their surroundings. He said the suspect is bold, committing the crimes during the daytime.
"He's not concerned about being seen," said Ashley. "That brings up a red flag right there that just shows how bold this individual is."
Corey Norris owns My Cellular Repair at 71st and Memorial. He says it is business as usual here.
"In an area like this, people need stuff done," said Norris. "Maybe they keep their eye out, but I don't think it's going to drive traffic away."
Even this cellphone expert says there is a time to put them down.
"I tell my wife, if you're at the mall shopping or leaving anywhere, don't be looking down," said Norris. "Make sure you are aware of what's going on in the parking lot."
Officer Ashley said to walk with authority, like you mean business.
PK at Judi's wigs said that is something she often tells her customers.
"When you look like a victim, they're going to get you, so you have to empower yourself," said PK.
Police only know of three incidents but said there may be more victims who were embarrassed to call police. They hope the sketch of the suspect will help bring other victims forward or help catch the sex predator.
The suspect is a white-male, 25 to 35 years old. He is about six-feet tall with brown hair. Police say he may wear glasses and have acne scars on his face. On two different occasions, he was wearing orange sweat pants and an orange or black baseball cap. One victim reported the suspect getting into a light-colored, four-door car with chipped paint.