Almost a year to date after his first attack, the man police say has raped five Chandler girls struck again Friday night.
While the victim’s grandparents were sitting on the front porch of their Chandler home about 9 p.m., the assailant described as a Hispanic male in his 30s entered the trailer and attacked a 14-year-old girl.
Chandler police spokesman Sgt. Rick Griner said investigators believe the man entered through the back door after having scoped out the area and planned his actions.
Griner said the victim’s grandfather called police and reported a burglary in progress inside his home at the Kon Tiki Mobile Home Park, 555 W. Warner Road, telling dispatch operators he believed the intruder to be the serial rapist inside his granddaughter’s room.
Police searched the area after they arrived on the scene, but the attacker is still at large.
According to police, the incident is linked to four previous sexual assaults since June 4, 2006, all of which have occurred within about three square miles near Arizona Avenue and Ray Road.
Griner said the man’s methods of attack, the age of the victim, the proximity to the other assaults and the attacker’s description all led police to believe that this is the same perpetrator.
As in each of the previous attacks, the Spanish-and English-speaking man threatened a young, teenaged girl with a weapon before sexually assaulting her. The man has been described as 5 feet, 6 inches, of muscular build with a thin mustache, black hair and wearing a short-sleeved navy blue T-shirt and khaki pants.
Police have said they believe the rapist to be a construction worker, based on his clothes and the time of the attacks. They have asked that employers in the industry help with the search.
It is Tribune policy to not release the names of sexual assault victims.
The previous attacks occurred on June 4, 2006, and Jan. 16, Jan. 31 and March 23.
Police cars surrounded the family’s home Saturday afternoon as the victim’s grandfather sat once again on his porch.
“Nobody’s doing very well here,” he said, as his wife and granddaughter talked inside with police.
Children continued to play in the community pool, but the trailer park seemed subdued the day after the serial rapist intruded into their neighborhood.
Resident Bruce Macaulay said he had a camera stolen once, but crime is rare in the community.
“I haven’t been keeping a very sharp eye,” Macaulay said. “I will now.”
After five attacks in the area, the victim’s grandfather said the only answer is for the community to work together.
“Let’s get back to the neighborhood,” he said. “You have to know who’s hanging around … pay attention, look around.”
Police urged the same caution among Chandler residents.
“You have to lock your windows and shut your doors,” Griner said. “Be aware of your surroundings.”
His advice was to “change your routine, don’t do the same thing everyday,” because of the pre-meditated nature of the attacks.
It was the rapist who changed part of his routine in Friday’s attack.
Previous attacks occurred in the early morning hours when no adults were home. And they were targeted at single-parent homes after the victims’ mother or father left.
“We’ve got to get this guy,” the girl’s grandfather said in light of the assailant’s increasingly risky behavior. “This guy is bold and brazen.”
He said that while he and his wife usually lock their doors, they never thought that it was necessary to do so when they were sitting on their own porch.
Even that small sense of security has now been removed.
“I’ll lock the doors from now on,” he said.
Anyone with information can call Silent Witness at (800) 343-8477 or police at (480) 782-4130. Silent Witness is offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.