Mechanicsburg Police are investigating two rapes that happened within in the village and asking anyone with information on the crimes to come forward.
The first rape happened in late October, Mechanicsburg Police Chief John Alexander said, but officers didn’t learn about it until recently. The second sexual assault happened on Monday.
“This kind of stuff usually doesn’t happen in places like this,” Alexander said.
In the first attack, he said, a Facebook post revealed the the victim’s parents would be out of town. The suspect walked into the unlocked home about 2 a.m., he said, and assaulted the victim in her bedroom.
In the second attack, “The victim went out to her car to get her makeup bag and heard a noise,” he said. “She went to investigate and was attacked at that point.”
Police are unsure if the assaults are connected, he said, but both victims described seeing a black Chevy Malibu before the attack.
Neither victim saw the suspect’s face, he said, but a possible suspect is a white male, about 6 feet tall, 200 pounds with brown eyes.
Police want anyone with information on the crimes to come forward.
“It doesn’t matter how insignificant you think it is,” Alexander said “It could be a minor thing.”
In the first attack, the suspect was described as wearing a black ski mask, black sweatshirt, cargo pants and brown cowboy boots.
The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation have assisted with the investigations, he said. He hopes police will get a hit on a suspect after testing a rape kit.
The sexual assaults are alarming to neighbor Melissa Blakely.
“I’ll be looking around everywhere I go now,” she said.
Rape isn’t a common crime in the village, she said.
“That’s pretty scary,” she said. “It was shocking.”
An extra patrol officer has been added at night, Alexander said, and will stop anyone walking around the village. Police hope to solve the crimes quickly, he said, but have made recommendations to residents while they remain unsolved.
Community members should lock their doors, he said, travel at night in pairs or groups and leave porch lights on overnight.
“Bad guys don’t like lights,” he said.
That’s advice Blakely said she already follows.
“My friends and neighbors, I’ll be passing the word along,” she said.
If anyone hears or sees anything suspicious, Alexander said call police instead of investigating. Mechanicsburg Police can be reached at 937-834-2239.
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