Not only were two Centreville women assaulted within a month of each other, but Fairfax County police believe the same man is responsible.
For nearly three hours, Saturday morning, they passed out fliers in the Compton/New Braddock roads area of Centreville, describing the incidents and the suspect and asking for the public's help in catching him.
He is believed to be white, 18-25 years and 5 feet 7 inches. He has blond hair and blue eyes and a medium build. Police are hoping people might recognize him from the artist's sketch on the flier or may know something about him.
"The information that you have, regardless of how trivial you may feel it is, could be the critical link in bringing this case to a successful conclusion," the flier says. "Your assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated."
The first incident possibly involving this suspect occurred Jan. 3, around 12:30 a.m., in the 6000 block of Sunset Ridge Court. Police say a 32-year-old Centreville woman was upstairs in her home when she heard her front door open.
According to police, there was no apparent evidence of forced entry. The woman called out to see who was there, but got no reply. However, when she went to investigate, she was confronted by a masked man with a handgun.
Police say the man then covered her face and sexually assaulted her. He then fled the house, and the victim called police. She was not injured, but was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital for examination.
She described her assailant as white, 5 feet, 6 inches, with a medium build; he wore a black mask and dark clothing.
The second incident occurred Feb. 8, around 11:30 a.m., in the 6400 block of Selby Court. There, police say the suspect attacked a 26-year-old Centreville woman in her Crofton Commons home. She told police that a man knocked on her door and, when she opened it, the man displayed a handgun and assaulted her.
He then fled on foot. The victim was not seriously injured. The suspect was described as white, in his 20s, 5 feet 6 inches and 150 pounds. He was clean-shaven and wore a green-and-black jacket and dark pants.
Police are encouraging area residents to call them if they know anyone matching the suspect's description, if they've seen him in their neighborhood, if they have any information regarding either of these incidents or if they're aware of any suspicious people that might be associated with these crimes.
A reward will be paid for information leading to an arrest and indictment of the suspect. Callers never have to give their names — just the information — and any information they provide will be kept strictly confidential.
Anyone with information of any type is urged to call Crime Solvers at 703-691-8888 or 1-800-673-2777. They may also call the police at 703-691-2131, Det. Dan Bibeault at 703-246-7812 or Det. Shawn Perkins at 703-246-7885.
In the meanwhile, police spokesman John Carney advises local residents to "Make sure your doors and windows are closed and locked, even when you're home — and especially when you're home alone. And draw the shades at night because people can see in much better than you can see out."