Police are warning Hammond residents in northwest Indiana after two sexual assaults were reported within two weeks of each other.
The victims, a juvenile girl and a 25-year-old woman, were outside walking when they were approached by a male who forced them into an ally and sexually assaulted them, according to a statement from Hammond police.
The incidents happened about noon July 26 in the 6700 block of Grand Avenue and about midnight Aug. 8 in the 7400 block of Arkansas Avenue, police said.
The suspect was described as a young black male between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-10 with an average build, police said. He wore a dark hoodie and shorts in both incidents.
Investigators believe the suspect could be the same in both crimes, police said.
“The detectives with our special victims unit are working diligently to locate the suspect,” Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said in a statement. “We would like to encourage the public to be aware of their surroundings and never walk alone when possible. Also, trust your instincts. If you think you are being followed, get to a well-lit, busy area.”
Anyone with information on the assaults should contact Hammond Police Det. Sgt. Christ Matonovich at (219) 852-2963.