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Police looking for serial flasher

Several women have reported indecent exposure incidents since Jan. 1, and police believe it’s the same suspect.

April 08, 2009|By Veronica Rocha

BURBANK — Police are looking for a 30- to 40-year-old man who allegedly exposed himself to women at least four times since the beginning of the year.

Witnesses described the suspect as black, bald and well-dressed, Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said. In each incident, the suspect drove up to a woman, asked for directions to the nearest freeway and began masturbating, Quesada said.

When the woman responds negatively to the man, Quesada said, he becomes more excited. But when she ignores him, he stops and drives away. He was seen driving a blue station wagon or hatchback in every reported incident.

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The same man may have also approached a woman in an aisle of a bookstore March 28 on the 300 block of North San Fernando Road. According to police reports, the woman saw a man unzip his pants, expose himself and begin masturbating.

She walked away and reported him to a store employee. The two tried to stop the man, but he left the bookstore, sat on a bench and began masturbating again, according to the police report. Shortly after, he walked away.

Since the bookstore incident, no one has reported any indecent exposures, Quesada said.

But he said some people often don’t call the police for those types of crimes. Quesada said the man may have simply decided to go elsewhere.

Inconsistency is not uncommon for flashers, said Zelda Gilbert, a psychology professor at Woodbury University in Burbank.

Flashers will often go for several weeks without exposing themselves until they are compelled to act on an irresistible urge, she said, noting the man’s actions are typical of serial flashers.

But while indecent exposure is the highest reported sex crime against women, it is “not reported really as often as it occurs,” she said.

Additional incidents believed to be committed by the same man include: A 16-year-old girl and 17-year-old girl being flashed March 19 while they were sitting at a bus bench at Hollywood Way and Verdugo Avenue. According to the police report, he asked the pair for directions to the Hollywood (101) Freeway and began masturbating.

Another woman told police March 6 that a man drove up to her at Magnolia Boulevard and Screenland Drive. He asked where the “101 Freeway” was and began masturbating, according to police reports.

The man’s arousal from committing the indecent exposures comes from the victims’ fear, Gilbert said.

“The payoff is the expression,” she said.

Quesada advises women approached by a flasher not to respond to him and to never approach a car.

“Be aware and go with your instinct,” he said. “You shouldn’t be afraid of offending them.”

Anyone who has been a victim of a flasher or has information about one is asked to call Det. Mitch Ross at the Burbank Police Department at (818) 238-3243.


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