Local News

Police detect striking similarities in five Fayetteville rapes

Posted July 30, 2012 8:32 p.m. EDT
Updated July 31, 2012 4:22 a.m. EDT

— Fayetteville police on Monday released detailed information about a possible connection between five sexual assaults in the Ramsey Street area since 2006.

On July 13, a woman reported being raped in her bedroom around 4:30 a.m. She and another woman were asleep inside the home when a man pried open a window and assaulted her, police said.

"The first week after the most recent assault, we canvassed the area where it occurred, talked with residents and tried to gather information," police spokesman Gavin MacRoberts said Monday.

Based on their investigation, police detected a possible link between that assault and four other rapes in the area on Aug. 23, 2006, Feb. 12, 2007, Sept. 18, 2007 and Jan. 26, 2008.

MacRoberts said they have also linked three of the rapes with a peeping tom case in Harnett County.

In each case, the victims described their attacker as a white man in his late 20s to early 30s, standing between 5 feet 9 inches and 6 feet tall, weighing between 175 and 230 pounds and wearing jeans and a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt with a Notre Dame or Orange County Choppers logo.

The victims reported that the man smelled dirty, had bad smoker's breath and gave off an odor of car oil. 

Though the attacker used force in each case – placing his hands over the women's faces and making threats against their families or roommates – police say victims described him as being non-aggressive, gentle, soft-spoken and polite.

In each case, investigators believe the rapist stalked his victims, gathering personal information about them before the attack.

"He's methodical," MacRoberts said.

He asked that anyone with information come forward and help investigators.

"History has shown a criminal doesn't operate in a bubble. There's somebody who knows him," MacRoberts said. "We're not going to stop until we make an arrest."

Police are hosting a community crime meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Cedar Falls Baptist Church, at 6181 Ramsey St., to answer questions about the investigation.

Earlier this summer, police investigated a string of four rapes in a 10-day span. At least one of those occurred in the Ramsey Street area.

Investigators have said they don't believe the cases are related.