Attackers target two women in SE Houston

HOUSTON Many women say they always try to be aware of their surroundings. But these cases reminded them they need be cautious even during the middle of the day.

At Ila Journet's beauty shop, they work with the front door locked.

She said, "We monitor the door, and don't let different people in that we don't know. That's all we.can do."

News of the sexual assault that happened near her business worries many customers.

"To say a woman was pulled... This is like the Acres Homes stuff, you know," said concerned resident Joyce Piggee. "Now it's coming to Southpark? They've got to do something. We need more police. It's not enough policemen up in this area right here."

Police say on Wednesday a 21-year-old woman was sexually assaulted at knifepoint after being dragged into the woods. Hours apart and eight miles away, a mother was grabbed in an attempted abduction near Park Place Elementary.

"They look for opportunity," warned HPD Sgt. John Chomiak. "It doesn't matter what time of day, or the area of town. If there's an opportunity that they feel that they can take advantage of, they're going to take advantage of it. We have to do our part to break down that little crime triangle."

Ila Journet says she's concerned rundown houses like the one next to her only add to the problem. For now she says she'll just warn her customers to be aware when they walk out the door.

"My customers are afraid to come," Ila said. "It ruins your business. You have very slow business. But, thank God they understand and they're coming back."

Police say they do not believe these two cases are related, but they say they are going to look at all of the distinct possibilities that these could be related to other cases in other parts of the city.

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