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Search for Claremont rape suspect is ongoing

Kat Simonelli
Metro Editor

Amanda Larsh
Assistant News Editor

Residents of Claremont are still on edge as the search continues for an unidentified male who allegedly broke into a home and raped a 12-year-old girl on March 20.

So far more than 300 tips have poured in from community members and other law enforcement offices.

“Bottom line is we’re having to follow up on all the 300 tips,” said Claremont Police Department Lt. Mike Ciszek. “It takes officers time to write down those messages and call them back so we’re trying to follow that.”

The alleged victim was alone at the time and was awakened by the intrusion, which police say did not appear forced.

“She was asleep in her room and she woke up to noises of him coming in… but there was no signs of forced entry, it wasn’t like he broke a window or kicked in the door,” Ciszek said.

The suspect was described as a clean-shaven white man, 30 years of age, approximately 5 foot 8 inches to 5 foot 9 inches tall, medium build, blue eyes, and brown hair.

He was last seen wearing a dark colored baseball cap and a flannel-type shirt, possibly black and red in color.

“We don’t have anybody in custody at this point and we’re pursuing other leads and evidence that was obtained at the scene to see if we could identify a subject to those means,” said Ciszek.

At this time police say the attack is a random and isolated incident, but would classify the suspect as dangerous.

“It was only once, we don’t have a serial rapist, we don’t have numerous victims,” said Ciszek.

Detective Laura Toscano for the La Verne Police Department stated that LVPD will not increase patrol as long as they do not believe he is in the city.

“Bottom line is we tell people that they should keep their doors locked, their windows closed and if they see anybody suspicious to contact the police immediately,” said Ciszek.

“We can’t be everywhere at the same time. We rely on vigilant neighbors to give us a call if they see something that does not fit.”

If anyone has any information related to the suspect or the investigation they are asked to contact the Claremont Police Department Detectives Bureau at 909-399-5420.

Kat Simonelli can be reached at kathryn.simonelli@laverne.edu.

Amanda Larsh can be reached at amanda.larsh@laverne.edu.

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