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Police are to answer local concerns at a public meeting after an abduction and sexual assault in Bracknell.
On Thursday 6 May, a 15-year-old girl was walking home when she was grabbed by an unknown man at the entrance of Oxenhope in Wildridings, Bracknell. The man walked her down Crowthorne Road towards Pickering, where he forced her into a vehicle - described as dark coloured – before driving her to an unknown location, where he sexually assaulted her. Following the assault, he drove her to Netherton in Wildridings, Bracknell, where he let her out of the car and she made her way home. Detectives believe the attack happened sometime after 6.30pm, and the victim was released at Wildriding Park at around 9pm.
Prior to this incident on the same day, a 14-year-old girl was grabbed by a man in Nutley, Hanworth, Bracknell, but managed to escape. She had arrived home at approximately 5.15pm, when she heard a knock on the door. She opened the door to find a man standing there. The 14-year-old had seen the same man hanging around the area as she walked home. He managed to gain access into the house, where he made a number of threats against her. After a short period, he took hold of her and led her away from the house. As they walked along Nutley, the victim managed to push the man off and escape.
Detectives believe that the same man is responsible for both of these incidents, and are also linking them to another offence which has remained under investigation since being reported in November last year. That particular offence happened in Warfield on Wednesday 4 November 2009, involving the kidnap and sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl.
On this occasion the victim was walking along a footpath off Shakespeare Way when she was approached by a man who asked for directions. As she was replying to him, the man grabbed her and forced her to walk to a car that was located on Jigs Lane South. She was taken to an unknown location, where she was subjected to a serious sexual assault. No-one has been arrested in connection with this offence.
Detective Superintendent Rob Mason, who is investigating all three incidents, said:
“I believe that the two sexual offences involving the 15 and 16-year-old girls occurred in either a caravan or a portacabin. It is absolutely critical that we find this location and the man responsible for these despicable crimes. We know that the caravan or portacabin is in a remote location because the girls describe the vehicle being driven off road before they arrived at the caravan.
“I believe that the man knows Bracknell so well that he is either a local man or has been here a long time and therefore other people must know him. There is no information too trivial to help us with this investigation.
“We are particularly keen to speak to a cyclist who may have witnessed the abduction on Thursday last week. I am also keen to hear from a group of black youths who were seen outside the shops in Wildridings. They may have seen our victim looking distressed.
“We have released a fairly broad description of the man we are looking for based on accounts from victims and witnesses. He is described as white, aged between 20 and 40, of medium build, with notably brown eyes and a deep voice. On two of the occasions, he was seen wearing a grey beanie hat.
“Following last week’s incidents, we have arrested four men, of which three have since been released from police custody without charge and the other has been bailed.”
Officers have made this computer generated photo of the man they're looking for:
Chief Inspector Simon Bowden, Local Police Area (LPA) Commander for Bracknell, said:
“In these circumstances it is very difficult to reassure communities when we have a predatory offender on the loose. However, I would like to assure the community of Bracknell that we are doing all we can to locate and arrest this offender. In terms of reassurance, we are carrying out Bluetooth transmissions outside schools, delivering leaflets, and all my officers have been briefed that this is their number one priority.”
Were you in Nutley at 3pm on Thursday 6th May?
After stopping over a hundred drivers in Bracknell a week on, officers think the man they're looking for was hanging about in the Nutley area at about 3pm on Thursday 6th May - just a few hours before the sexual assault.
Detective Superintendent Rob Mason said:
"We are confident it was the same man because he was wearing the beanie hat. We know he used a car in the offences so it would helpful if anyone has seen this individual particularly if they have seen him in or with a vehicle."
"No information is too trivial to help us catch this man.”-->-->
Can you help?
If you have any information about these incidents, please contact Det Insp Dowling via the 24-hour non-emergency number, 0845 8 505 505. If you do not want to speak to the police, call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.
If you see the man, police say you shouldn't approach him, and dial 999 straight away.
A public meeting will take place on Thursday 27 May at which senior police officers and senior representatives of Bracknell Forest Council will give the latest update on the investigation and answer your questions.
The meeting will be held at Bracknell Leisure Centre, Bagshot Road, starting at 6.30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.