ARLINGTON COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — Police said they were looking into the possibility that a serial attacker may be responsible for two reported sexual assaults that took place in women’s homes within 10 days of each other.
The first attack happened in Ballston-Virginia Square and the second in Clarendon-Courthouse. Neighbors in both areas and police said that type of crime was unusual.
Some women who talked to DC News Now said they aren’t necessarily afraid because of the incidents but they are taking precautions.
On April 2, police received a call about an attempted rape around 4:15 a.m. in the 3900 block of Fairfax Drive in Ballston.
“We got an email from my unit owner to let us know about what had happened. I was really surprised because you don’t hear about that type of crime in this neighborhood,” said neighbor Jillian Aplan.
Aplan lives in a nearby apartment building.
“It didn’t make me too nervous because it’s not like an abundance of crime but it’s definitely scary that it happened so close to where I live,” Aplan said.
The second assault happened on April 12 in the 2200 block of Clarendon Boulevard in Clarendon.
“In both incidents the suspect gained entry into the female victim’s apartment, went into her bedroom and touched her inappropriately. The victim screamed and the suspect fled the scene on foot,” said Ashley Savage, Public Information Officer for Arlington County Police Department. “Due to similarities in the cases our detectives with the Special Victims Unit are investigating these as possibly related cases.”
Savage said they’re in the process of looking at surveillance images and going over witness interviews.
“This is unusual that we have an instance like this, but we want the public to know that we take these cases very seriously,” Savage said. “We are deploying significant resources toward these in addition to speaking with witnesses collecting evidence on scene, we are conducting extra patrols in the area.”
Savage said security plans only work if everyone follows them.
“The weather’s getting nicer. We all want to leave our windows open. Make sure we’re securing our windows at night, securing our doors,” Savage said.
“They ask that you not piggyback and like if someone’s following in behind you, just ask them, ‘Hey, can you scan your key fob?’ rather than letting them follow in,” Aplan said.
If you have any surveillance cameras near where the assaults took place, the police department asked that you contact detectives. If you notice anyone suspicious in your building, call the police.