Reward, surveillance increase in rape case - East Valley Tribune: News

Reward, surveillance increase in rape case

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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 9:14 pm | Updated: 6:37 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Authorities have boosted the reward to $10,000 in a serial rape case that has a Chandler neighborhood on alert with police and the Guardian Angels taking to the streets.

The Silent Witness reward was increased from $1,000 Wednesday, when Guardian Angels leaders announced plans to walk the neighborhood near where the attacks occurred at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Mike Upchurch, leader of the Phoenix chapter of the Guardian Angels, said the group will gather in the Safeway parking lot at Ray and McQueen roads.

Upchurch, a 41-year-old maintenance worker by day, is encouraging the community to join the members, who wear red berets as they patrol.

The attacker preys on teens who are home alone after their parents go to work, and he has been targeting a 1.5-mile stretch of McQueen Road from north of Ray Road to south of Chandler Boulevard.

Since mid-January, he has raped three girls, police say. The most recent assault occurred Friday.

The Guardian Angels first walked Chandler streets in the case in early February after the first two rapes. On Saturday night, the group will give out fliers with descriptions of the predator while trying to find witnesses and additional victims of the rapist, Upchurch said.

Police began handing out fliers Tuesday night and have received numerous calls, said Chandler police spokeswoman detective Livi Kacic. The department has designated one detective to determine which tips are a priority, Kacic said. Police will then follow up on leads.

Anyone with information about the crimes can call Silent Witness at (480) 948-6377.

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