San Diego Police Department

Man Accused of Groping 9-Year-Old Girl at College Grove Mall: Police

The alleged sexual battery incident happened Dec. 16 at a Ross store at College Grove Mall on College Avenue

San Diego police are searching for a man accused of groping a 9-year-old girl at a store at College Grove Mall while she browsed the toy section with her little sister.

The alleged sexual battery incident happened around 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 16 at a Ross store in the shopping center on College Avenue. The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said the suspect is accused of grabbing the girl’s buttocks while she looked at toys with her 3-year-old sister. It is unclear where the parents of the children were at the time of the incident.

Due to the victim’s age, police were not able to collect a verbal description of the suspect. However, investigators said surveillance cameras inside the store captured the incident on video.

Two still images of the suspect taken from that footage were publicly released Friday. The SDPD said the suspect appears to be in his mid-20s to 30s, with an average build. The cameras captured him wearing a dark-colored baseball cap with an emblem on the front, a dark-colored long-sleeved V-neck style sweater or shirt, black shorts, white socks and black and white tennis shoes with white rim and a white design on the side.

Investigators said the unknown man was at the College Grove Mall between 5:58 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. that day and also visited surrounding Target and Kohl’s stores. He may have been traveling in a dark-colored sedan.

The suspect is facing a sexual battery charge for a lewd & lascivious act with a minor under the age of 14. Anyone who recognizes him can reach out to the SDPD’s Child Abuse Unit at (619) 531-2260 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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