Security camera footage showing a man groping a teenage girl near a Spring Valley middle school last Friday could help deputies find the man they believe also tried to lure a child into his car last month.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department called on the public Tuesday for help identifying the suspect in the two incidents.
The groping last week happened near the intersection of Conrad Drive and Campo Road where a 13-year-old was waiting to be picked up from school. Investigators say the suspect approached the girl from behind and "inappropriately touched her."
Cameras at a donut shop near the intersection captured the groping. A grainy, shadowy figure approaches from the left of the screen and walks directly toward a group on the sidewalk. The man makes contact with the girl and walks off.
There is no audio on the footage, but deputies say the girl and other students yelled at the man as he walked away. The victim reported the incident to authorities on Monday, according to the sheriff's department.
"Oh, wow. He grabbed the girl. Wow," said Jessica Littlejohn, a mother to children in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District. "This is where my daughter would wait. That’s scary. That is really scary."
The first incident connected to the same suspect happened Feb. 28 in a parking lot in the 9600 block of Campo Road. The suspect, similarly described by both victims, approached her in a black Toyota Prius and asked if she needed a ride. The victim refused, then the man demanded her to get in his car, according to deputies.
The girl told investigators she ran across the street to avoid the man, then reported the confrontation to her school, according to the sheriff's department.
The suspect was described as a white man who is between 29 and 30 years old with short, curly red hair, freckles and crooked teeth. He was last seen wearing reading glasses and is clean-shaven.
Anyone with information on the suspect was asked to call the sheriff's department at (858) 565-5200.
Two other cases of child luring have been reported in the Spring Valley area in the last two months. Deputies say they are not related to the suspect at the center of the department's most-recent investigation