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Anonymous Donor Adds to Arrest Fund

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Hoping to generate clues to help capture a serial rapist, a local businessman has joined the City Council in establishing a $7,500 reward for information that leads to his arrest.

Council members voted at their meeting Monday night to create a reward fund of $5,000 for help leading to the apprehension and conviction of the rapist, who has victimized women in the city since June 1996.

After the meeting, a man who does business in Simi Valley pledged an additional $2,500 to the fund, said Councilman Glen Becerra. The donor asked to remain anonymous.

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“The individual doesn’t like a lot of notoriety,” Becerra said.

Residents who notice suspicious activity should report it to the police, said Becerra, who first proposed the reward two weeks ago. “It might just be the tip that police need to put this guy away.”

The council also will begin a lobbying campaign to persuade Simi Valley businesses and service clubs to contribute additional money to the reward fund.

“I hope that other entities in the community would be willing to jump on the bandwagon, to up the ante,” said Councilman Paul Miller.

Council members said they feared the reward and information about the rapist might fade from the public consciousness if no one comes forward with information quickly. But that is not likely, said Police Chief Randy Adams.

“Until we solve this serial crime, I think there will continue to be interest,” Adams said.

The police believe one man is responsible for three rapes, five sexual assaults and one prowler incident in the past three years. DNA evidence has tied one suspect to at least three attacks. The most recent attack was on May 4.

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“Once you’ve made the arrest, this guy is going away for a long, long time,” Becerra said. “Any amount of money would be worth getting this guy off the streets.”

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