Police investigating Kensington serial rapist

SVU
Surveillance footage from the April 21 case shows a dark-colored Dodge Charger.
Philadelphia police

Authorities believe a serial rapist is preying on vulnerable women in Kensington, attacking them at gunpoint inside his car.

Surveillance images and video released Tuesday shows a Dodge Charger detectives think belongs to a man connected to three recent sexual assaults in the area.

“We believe there may be additional assaults that have occurred,” Police Capt. James Kearney, who commands the department’s Special Victims Unit, told reporters.

Kearney suspects the man is targeting sex workers and drug users because they are less likely to report assaults to police.

“We do not discriminate,” he said, urging people who have been raped to come forward. “We do not get the chance to pick our victims. We treat everybody with respect.”

While some of the victims willingly got into his car, at least one woman was grabbed and forced inside the vehicle, investigators said.

Special Victims Unit Capt. James Kearney speaks to reporters Tuesday, May 10, about a series of rapes that have occurred in the Kensington area.Jack Tomczuk

All three were Black women, and, while they reported the assaults to police, SVU detectives have only interviewed the most recent victim, a 29-year-old woman who was raped April 21. In that case, officers were also able to obtain video and DNA evidence, Kearney said.

The footage shows a 2016-to-2020 charcoal gray Dodge Charger with tinted windows driving up and down Kensington Avenue, authorities said.

Kearney described the suspect as a heavy, light-skinned Black man who sometimes wears a burgundy sweat jacket.

Investigators say the driver in the April 21 attack offered a ride to the woman at around 1 a.m. near the corner of Kensington Avenue and Huntingdon Street.

After she got in, he pulled out a handgun and raped her before taking her cellphone and leaving her on Broad Street, according to police. She was also punched and treated for an injury to her face.

On April 5, police say the man pushed a 28-year-old woman into his car as she was walking out of a corner store on the 3500 block of Kensington Avenue. He allegedly drove to the 4000 block of Orchard Street in Frankford and demanded oral sex at gunpoint.

In the first assault, which occurred March 15, he picked up a 26-year-old woman at around 5 a.m. at the corner of Whitaker and Erie avenues and drove her to a remote area, authorities said. There, he allegedly produced a gun and raped her.

Anyone with information about the assaults or the suspect is asked to call SVU at 215-685-3251/3252, text 215-686-8477 or submit anonymous information at www.phillypolice.com/forms/submit-a-tip.

“I think with a little bit of help, with a little bit of cooperation, we can catch this guy,” Kearney said.

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