Man gropes women in book stores

SUGAR LAND, TX The images of a man caught on surveillance camera are quite clear and police hope that someone will recognize the man. They say the inappropriate touching has happened at least twice, but they fear this has happened more than that.

"We're just concerned that we want to get him identified," said Sgt. Matt Levan with the Sugar Land Police.

Police are looking for the man seen in surveillance video from two Sugar Land book stores where they say he touched women inappropriately. First it happened at the Half Price Books on Highway 6 at Williams Trace in April and the second assault happened Tuesday at the Barnes and Noble at First Colony Mall. Both assaults happened to women with small children as they looked at books.

"She's distracted by her children," explained Sgt. Levan. "This male suspect approaches her from behind and touches her inappropriately."

The suspect is described as a well-dressed black male, 20-30 years old, 5'10" to 6' tall, with a thin build, short hair and light facial hair.

Shoppers we talked to say they normally feel safe shopping in Sugar Land, but a crime like this is really just a sign of the times.

"I remember when we used to keep our doors open," said Sugar Land resident Christine Reval. "Nobody had a problem. Now, even with Halloween coming up, people don't trick-or-treat. People are becoming a lot more cautious around here."

Sugar Land resident Mildred White admitted that she feels safe inside stores, but added, "I keep my eyes open, if that's what you mean."

Police say that's good advice for all of us.

Sgt. Levan advised, "You have to be aware of your surroundings at all times -- who's around you, what they're doing -- especially if you have small children."

The charges in this case could range from simple assault to public lewdness. But police do want to talk to this man. If you have any information, you're asked to call Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers at 281-342-TIPS.

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