WASHINGTON -- Loudoun County Sheriff's detectives are looking for an armed serial robber they say is demanding women take off their clothes as he rifles through their purses.
The four armed robberies have all happened in neighborhoods in Sterling, Va., the most recent being on Valentine's Day.
A woman told authorities she had been walking back to her apartment Friday night when an unknown man brandished a firearm, demanded her wallet and told her to remove her jacket. The victim told police she screamed, and the suspect fled the area.
A similar case was reported on Feb. 9, when a Sterling woman was returning to her apartment and was approached by an unknown male at her apartment door on Stanford Square. The suspect brandished a firearm and demanded the victim's wallet. A ground and aerial search was conducted, but no suspect was located.
The suspect is described as a light-skinned black man in his 20s, says Sheriff Michael Chapman.
Each incident is similar in the sequence of events, he says.
"He actually approaches them, startles them, demands that they take off an article of clothing," Chapman says.
The women are not exposed, he says.
"I think it just give him a little bit of time to start going through their things," Chapman says.
Investigators released a composite sketch of this suspect developed from the Feb. 9 incident.
Authorities say these cases are possibly related to two other reports of armed robbery that occurred in December.
In the first, Loudoun deputies responded to the 46500 block of Lynnhaven Square in Sterling, Va., in the early morning of Dec. 29 after a female victim said she was approached by an unknown male. The suspect brandished a firearm and demanded the female drop several items and remove some clothing. The female then ran into her home, leaving her belongings behind. A purse was reported missing by the victim.
A short time later, the suspect approached a female who was unloading groceries on the 10200 block of Mckean Court. The suspect brandished a firearm, and pointed the weapon at her. The female then screamed and the suspect fled the area. Nothing was reported taken.
The suspect in those cases was described as a light-skinned black male, approximately 5-feet-8 inches tall, with a medium build and in his mid-to-late 20s. He was wearing a dark "hoodie" concealing his face. The suspect was possibly driving a small burgundy or red colored vehicle.
"Just be vigilant. Be on the lookout. And if you see anything unusual, certainly let us know," Chapman says.
The Loudoun County Sheriff's office is currently working with agencies in neighboring jurisdictions.
Those with information are asked to call the Loudoun County Sheriff's office at 703-777-0475.
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