3 Sex Assaults, 5 Home Burglaries in South Pasadena Lead to Arrest of L.A. Man

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A 22-year-old Los Angeles man has been arrested in connection a string of sex assaults and residential burglaries that occurred in South Pasadena Wednesday morning, police said.

The suspect, who was not identified, was arrested in a stolen car about 2:20 p.m. in the area of Olympic Boulevard and Soto Street in Boyle Heights, according to South Pasadena Police Department Capt. Brian Solinsky.

The crimes began about 7:30 a.m., when the man accosted and assaulted a juvenile girl walking to South Pasadena High School, Solinsky said. That incident occurred in the 1400 block of Diamond Avenue.

He soon after attacked another high-school age girl in the area. He then walked a block over and exposed himself to a lone adult woman, Solinsky said.

The assaults came within about a 20-minute period in a busy area and the attacker pulled away from the victims on his own, the captain said. All the victims were not physically injured.

The high school, South Middle School and Marengo Elementary were locked down, police said.

Soon after the assaults, while officers were investigating, the man burglarized five apartments within about five-block radius of the high school, Solinsky said.

One victim awoke to find the burglar, armed with a knife and demanding money, the captain said.

A young man who said his house had been robbed told KTLA the burglar slit a screen door, reached through and unlocked it, then stole an iPad, an Xbox and $400 headphones.

Four other neighbors were robbed as well, said Sean Stephen, who said he was asleep during the burglary of his home.

"There was a ton of police cars at our house this morning. ... I never see police. This doesn't really happen around here," Stephen told KTLA.

After a knife was found at one of the burglary scenes, the lockdown at the three schools was lifted. Summer school started in South Pasadena schools on Monday.

The man arrested was on parole for burglary and had been released in 2013, Solinsky said.

The car he was driving -- in which he unsuccessfully tried to flee -- was stolen on Wednesday, according to the captain. Evidence in the vehicle allegedly linked the suspect to the South Pasadena crimes.

He was believed to have acted alone, and it wasn't known why he targeted South Pasadena.