An armed man impersonating a police officer stopped two women in Hollywood, fondled them and threatened to shoot one of the victims if she screamed, police said.
The brazen incidents prompted Los Angeles police to issue a public warning Tuesday and released surveillance video images of the man's face.
"He is definitely armed and dangerous," police Det. DeAnn Maltos said. "We are hoping he doesn't shoot anyone."
The separate episodes occurred around 12:30 a.m. Nov. 24 and Nov. 30 as the victims were walking home from school and work, she said.
In the first incident, the man approached a woman in the 6000 block of De Longpre Avenue as she searched for her keys, police said.
The assailant wore a blazer, polo shirt and baseball cap, and flashed a badge and identification, police said. He directed the woman to stand against a wall for a search, and fondled the woman's breast and buttocks, police said.
The man then pulled a blue steel, semi-automatic handgun from his waistband and warned, "If you scream or knock on the door, I'm going to shoot you."
The ordeal was recorded by a surveillance video camera in the area, Maltos said.
Days later, the man followed another woman into a parking area in the 500 block of Kingsley Drive, police said. As she sat in her car, he walked up to her and pressed a badge against the window.
The man said her registration was expired. He ordered her to step out of the car and open the trunk, according to police.
Again, he forced the woman to stand against a wall as he searched her and fondled her, police said.
Police said the man could have been driving a black Ford Mustang or a purple Cadillac. Police said the assailant was black, stood 5-foot-8 to 6-foot-3 and weighed between 230 and 280 pounds. The attacker also had a tattoo or birthmark on his left temple.
Detectives are working with neighboring law enforcement agencies to determine whether similar incidents have occurred elsewhere, Maltos said.
For now, Maltos said residents should be vigilant of their surroundings and should notify police if they think they are being followed.
Anyone with details about the incidents is urged to call Maltos at (213) 473-0447.
For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA