Police have arrested a 22-year-old man allegedly caught on stores' surveillance video as he sexually battered women shopping in Canoga Park and Woodland Hills earlier this month.
Winnetka resident Alon Lerner surrendered himself to authorities at the Los Angeles Police Department's Topanga station on Friday afternoon, the agency said in a news release.
The day before, LAPD had announced a manhunt for a suspect it dubbed the "preppy masher": A man clad in clean-cut clothes who was caught on video as he rubbed his genitals into female shoppers at several western San Fernando Valley stores.
The predator would approach women from behind and thrust his groin area into their buttocks before fleeing, Detective Arlene Padilla previously told KTLA.
Four women reported separate incidents on July 10 an 11 at a shoe store, a women’s discount clothing store and a department store.
Investigators had wanted to catch the man before his behavior escalated.
Capt. Paul Vernon said Lerner was "readily recognized" by several people after the case gained media attention. Detectives were still working to positively identify him as the suspect and would then present the case to the district attorney's office.
After turning himself in, Lerner was booked into Van Nuys Jail on suspicion of felony sexual battery and was being held on $65,000 bail. Inmate records show he was taken into custody around 12:30 p.m.
Authorities noted that Lerner lived with his parents and had no prior criminal record.
Anyone with information or who believes they may be a victim can contact Padilla at 818-756-3376, or submit a tip anonymously via 800-222-8477.