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Robber With Fetish Hits Twice in Week

Times Staff Writer

The so-called “underwear bandit” struck at a dress shop in Seal Beach on Tuesday in the second such robbery in Orange County this week, authorities said.

The man, armed with a blue steel handgun, entered Marilyn’s Boutique on Pacific Coast Highway about 1:30 p.m. and ordered the saleswoman to give him articles of her clothing and an undetermined amount of money from the cash drawer, Seal Beach Police Officer Jerry Ellison said.

The saleswoman, who was alone at the time, was not injured, Ellison said. He refused to say which clothing was surrendered or to release other details of the incident.

Based on his method of operation, the bandit is believed to have been involved in more than 25 other such incidents in Orange and Los Angeles counties since Aug. 17, police said.

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A similar incident occurred Monday in Anaheim. About 10 a.m., a man armed with a gun entered the Payless Shoe Source in a shopping strip at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and State College Boulevard. Two female employees were working in the store, and no customers were present, Anaheim Police Sgt. John Haradon said.

The two women were not injured, Haradon said, and the man left the store with a pair of shoes and money from the cash register.

“Because the women asked us not to, we won’t say what he did to them,” Haradon said. “We are quite certain that he is the right suspect . . . (the one) we’re calling the ‘underwear bandit.’ ”

During most of the previous robberies, the bandit orders women to remove their underwear at gunpoint. He then performs sexual acts with the underwear before fleeing with the clothing and cash, police have said.

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Investigators have been baffled by the man’s sexual motives. Some officers have said they fear that he may become violent if his victims refuse to follow orders.

The bandit, who was photographed by a surveillance camera during an Aug. 23 robbery in Garden Grove, is described as a white man, 5 feet, 10 inches tall and 170 pounds. He has sandy blond hair.

His other robberies in the county have occurred in Garden Grove, Fullerton, Santa Ana and Orange.


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