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Police have suspects in this week’s attacks

Originally reported at about recent incidents in Kilmarnock

by Audrey Thomasson

Tom Saunders asked the public for patience as the investigation is vigorously pursued by law enforcement.

In addition to reward money offered through Lancaster County Crime Solvers, town officials put up a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the rapist. Saunders asked citizens and businesses to pledge money to the fund.

“Town, county and state resources are being applied. Nothing is being held back. All agencies are cooperating fully,” including Delegate Albert Pollard’s office, he said. “Despite what you see on television, it takes time for forensic tests to be completed. Arrests will not be held up because of this, but it’s essential to give the authorities time to do their work.”

Approximately 50 citizens gathered in Kilmarnock’s town hall for Thursday’s informational meeting, but they received very few details about the crimes.

“The reason we can’t comment is because several victim’s rights laws come into play,” he said.

The description of the suspect in both crimes is a medium to slightly built black man between five feet five inches and six feet tall. Saunders said the victims could not give a better description because it was dark. In both cases, he gained entrance through a back door. Fingerprints and other forensic evidence gathered at the scenes are still being processed.

In the meantime, officials issued these safety tips:

1. Display county-issued 911 reflective house numbers so they are clearly visible from the street.

2. Leave front and rear porch lights on all night to make it easier for patrolling units to see your house.

3. Keep a light on in the house and a night light on in your bedroom so that if you are awakened during the night, you won’t be in a totally dark room.

4. Use dead-bolt locks, preferably those that are keyed inside and outside. Do not leave the key in the inside lock or too close to the door or window where an intruder could reach them.

5. If you have sliding doors, place a strong stick in the track so that even if the lock is forced the door cannot be opened.

6. Lock car doors at all times.

7. As an alternative to pepper spray (currently out of stock in area shops) a can of hornet spray can be just as effective. Buy it from a hardware store, supermarket or pest control service and keep it near your bed.

“If you hear something call 911,” said county administrator Bill Pennell. “You’re not disturbing the dispatcher.”

Tips should be called in to Crime Solvers at 462-7463.

More updates will be posted when they are available.

posted 12.04.2009

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