Photo courtesy San Diego Crimestoppers
Photo courtesy San Diego Crime Stoppers

Updated at 3:20 p.m. Feb. 1, 2017

Authorities asked the public Wednesday for help in identifying a man who has groped teenage girls in Mira Mesa on at least five occasions in recent months.

The assaults have occurred during the early morning hours on roadsides in the 9000 block of Mira Mesa Boulevard, the 9200 block of Hillery Drive and at the Mesa Village apartment complex on Caminito Baywood between Sept. 1 and last week, according to San Diego police.

The assailant grabbed the victims’ buttocks and crotches from behind or while walking past them, then fled, Lt. Paul Phillips said. The groper spoke to them in Spanish and broken in English, in one case making small talk prior to committing an assault, the lieutenant told news crews.

The victims — all of them underage, and two of whom were victimized twice — described the assailant as a roughly 5-foot-3-inch, dark-haired Latino in his late 20s to late 30s. During most of the crimes, the man had a bushy mustache and wore a baseball cap with a “California Republic” bear logo on the front.

Police released an artist’s rendering of the perpetrator this week as part of their efforts to determine who he is and track him down.

Anyone with information on the case was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or contact the agency online at Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

— City News Service