PHILADELPHIA - Police in Philadelphia are trying to identify a suspect wanted in connection with multiple sexual assaults across the city.
According to police, the first incident happened on March 15 at 5:00 a.m.
Authorities say a 35-year-old woman was walking in the area of Whitaker Avenue and Erie Avenue in North Philadelphia.
A man in a black-colored car drove the victim to a remote area, showed a handgun and then sexually assaulted her, police say.
Weeks later on April 5 at 5:15 a.m., a 28-year-old woman was leaving a convenience store at 3505 Kensington Avenue when she was approached by a man in a dark gray Dodge Charger with a covered tag, police say.
According to authorities, the suspect forced her into his car, drove to the area of 4000 Orchard Street in Frankford and sexually assaulted her before letting her out on Torresdale Avenue.
Police say another assault happened on April 21 at 1:00 a.m. in the area of Kensington Avenue and Huntingdon Street in Kensington when a 29-year-old woman was approached by a man in a silver sedan offering a ride, authorities say.
The woman accepted and the suspect showed a gun, forced the woman into the back seat and sexually assaulted her in the area of 2600 Kensington Avenue, according to officials.
Police say he also stole her iPhone 11 before dropping her off on Broad Street.
Authorities are searching for a charcoal gray Dodge Charger four-door sedan made between 2016 and 2020. They also say the vehicle has tinted windows and distinct rims.
In all of the incidents, the suspect was armed, authorities say.
Captain James Kearney and Lieutenant John Hewitt from the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victim's Unit held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Kearney says SVU investigators identified a pattern of sexual assaults in the district and that video surveillance from the April 21 incident shows a dark-colored car driving around the area.
The victim in the third incident was raped, according to authorities and DNA evidence was collected through a rape kit.
Kearney says the suspect is assaulting vulnerable women who may be hesitant to report the assaults. He is asking any other victims to come forward and contact the Special Victims Unit.
"People who prey on people who are at their most vulnerable point, it's concerning and yeah it does get me upset," Kearney said. "Someone out there thinks that they can prey on the weak and get away with it."
Kearney thinks his team will find the suspect with help from the public.
Anyone with information can submit an anonymous tip at 215-686-8477 or online here.
Victims of sexual assault in the city can contact the Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence by calling or texting the center's hotline at 215-985-3333.