Winston-Salem, NC-- Police in Winston-Salem are looking for a person they believe is groping women in a neighborhood.
Investigators said since May 30, there have been eight sexual battery incidents in the same area of the city.
They were all reported in the Hawthorne Road area of the Ardmore neighborhood and appear to be related. In each of these cases, witnesses have described a white male, 15-30 years old, 5'9'' to 6'2'', 130-190 lbs, medium build, and sandy blonde/brown hair. He is also described as having shoulder-length hair.
Police said the suspect approaches the victims from behind, grabs their breasts or buttocks and runs in the opposite direction or past the victim.
"We do believe it is one person who has done all these incidents but we don't know what the motive is and we won't until we actually take him into custody," said Captain David Clayton with WSPD.
"I think the person is in the area at the same time he sees a jogger and quite possibly he follows the jogger to a location where he actually gropes them and then quickly runs away," added Clayton.
All the women who reported the incidents have been white females, according to police. They have all been alone. At least one was with her dog and at least one was with children.
"My big concern is that he would follow someone to their home," said Clayton.
Women who walk and jog in the area are now on alert.
"That's really, really scary. I don't know what to make of that. I just want to go straight home now," said Emily Williamson, who was out for a run Thursday afternoon.
"It's a little scary but I think everybody's taking precautions to be safe," said Krissy Cooley, who was walking with a friend.
Dates, times and location of the incidents:
8:45pm - May 30 - Hawthorne Rd and Irving St.
6pm - June 1 - Hawthorne Rd and Ebert St.
9:15pm - June 2 - Hawthorne Rd and Miller St.
2:30pm -June 6 - 600 block Hawthorne
7:30pm - June 7 - Ardsley St. and Watson St.
7:55pm - June 12 - 1101 Irving St.
5:45pm - July 10 - Maplewood Ave and Melrose St.
8:30am - August 29 - 1900 block Ardsley
Avoid walking or jogging alone. Carry a cell phone with you and if you ever feel you're being followed, call 911 immediately - don't wait until you get home. By not listening to music with headphones, you'll make yourself more aware of your surroundings.
Police are asking for anyone with information about the reported assaults to call the Winston-Salem Police Department or CrimeStoppers at 727-2800.
Winston-Salem Police Dept.