With Palo Alto police on the lookout for a man involved in a string of flashing incidents earlier this month, a parent has stepped forward to report that her 13-year-old daughter witnessed a similar case of indecent exposure in early August, police said.
Following three reports of indecent exposure between Oct. 6 and 9, police said they have received numerous tips and have been following up on each.
The August incident -- like the first two earlier this month, which involved 14- and 10-year-old girls, respectively -- involved a child and a man in a car who lewdly exposed himself before driving away.
Police said that in August a 13-year-old girl was walking her dog between 1 and 2 p.m. in the 1600 block of Bryant Street, in Old Palo Alto. As the dog slowed down to take a break, the girl looked into the open passenger window of a car parked next to her on the street and saw a man inside who was exposed and masturbating. He did not speak to her, police said. She said she had not previously seen the man or his vehicle, a blue Volvo that may have been an SUV.
The girl then walked south on Bryant and reportedly saw the man drive away east on Lowell Avenue. She continued to walk her dog when she once again encountered the car, this time southbound on the 1500 block of Emerson Street. She reportedly sped up to walk past the car when the man called out a greeting to her. Police said the victim thought the man may have still been masturbating, but she was not sure. Police said she ignored him, walked home and immediately related the episode to her parents, who did not call the police at the time.
The description of the man in the August episode is similar to that given earlier this month. The flasher was described as a white male, "clean-cut" and between 20 and 30 years of age. The victim said he had brown hair and was wearing large black sun glasses and a white tank top.
Police said no other indecent-exposure incidents have been reported since Oct. 9, when a 20-year-old bicyclist reported getting flashed by a man in a BMW on the 4300 block of Miller Avenue in south Palo Alto. A man in a similar vehicle reportedly then exposed himself to two women in Belmont the following morning.
Police are investigating possible connections between the four flashing episodes and working with Belmont detectives. Police said patrols remain on heightened alert, particularly in the Palo Alto neighborhoods where the flashings have occurred.
In a statement, police advised residents to tell children to be alert and to tell a trusted adult immediately about anything they see that does not seem right. If a resident or someone they know is a victim of indecent exposure, they are advised to call 9-1-1 immediately.
Police are asking that anyone with information about any of these incidents call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to email@example.com or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through a free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.