San Diego police launched a search Friday morning in Talmadge for a suspect accused of sexually assaulting a woman.
Investigators said the alleged sex crime happened around 5:45 a.m. in the 4400-block of 50th Street near El Cajon Boulevard.
The suspect allegedly demanded that the victim give him money and her car keys after the reported assault, according to SDPD.
Police said the suspect then stole the victim's vehicle, which was later recovered abandoned a mile away.
The victim, crying, ran to a neighbor's home and said she had been attacked, police said. The passerby called 911 to report the crime.
When police arrived at the scene, they briefly spotted the suspect. The suspect ran toward the west alley of 4400 block of 50th Street before officers could capture him.
He is described as around 6 feet tall and 230 to 250 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored jacket and jeans. Anyone with information is asked to call SDPD’s Sex Crimes Unit at (619) 531-2210, or call the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477.
The SDPD cordoned several spots in the area as officers launched their search and investigation. Several streets were blocked off to traffic.
The areas of investigation included an apartment complex on 50th Street, an alleyway and a nearby parking lot.
The parking lot is near an AutoZone business. There, police could be seen towing away a white SUV just before 11 a.m. Police did not say if that SUV is tied to the investigation, or if it may belong to the suspect or victim.
Talmadge resident Bobby Tsutsui told NBC 7 there is often police activity in the neighborhood.
"It’s just a shame. It’s a sad state of affairs that we’re in," he lamented. "Hopefully they’ll find him, and whatever happens, gets rectified."
Resident Hannah Martin has been living in the neighborhood since last August. In just seven months, she has heard of a stabbing in the area, and now this sexual assault.
She was out walking her dog Friday morning when she saw police swarming 50th Street.
"It makes me feel completely unsafe," Martin said. "I love my apartment but the neighborhood, itself, it’s just really difficult. It’s rough out here."
Martin said many of her neighbors have been actively trying to get in touch with local leaders to prevent crime in the area.
After the stabbing, which happened on New Year's Day, neighbors were outraged, saying the attack could've been prevented if city officials had responded to residents' requests to repair street lights in the area.
"It just feel like (police) are here only when something goes wrong; like, really, really wrong," Martin added. "I wish they were around more."
Martin said she has written to legislators expressing concern over public safety in her community.