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Police Hope Public Can Identify Serial Groper Before His Crimes Escalate

CANOGA PARK (CBSLA)  -- Police are on the hunt for a man who has allegedly groped a series of female shoppers in the San Fernando Valley.

Authorities have released video images of the subject hoping that they catch him before his crimes escalate.

The LAPD says the suspect is brazen. He doesn't attempt to cover his face.

Officials say the wanted man approaches unsuspecting women and starts grinding his body up against them -- sometimes from the back, sometimes from the front. They say he's struck at least four times they know of.

He takes off on foot and usually flees the area in a car. Authorities believe he might also be using the Orange Line.

Police are concerned the man's behavior could get worse. They've dubbed him the "Preppy Store Masher." Nicknames aside, they are taking his crimes very seriously.

"He does not attempt to hide his face," says L.A County Sheriff's Department Detective Arlene Padilla. "He is not attempting to hide his identity. His calmness concerns us. We do not want his behavior to escalate."

The groping incidents have taken place in a series of stores along De Soto Avenue and Erwin Street to Sherman Way -- the area has a number of malls.

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