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News Release

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Media Relations

Sexual Assault Suspect Dubbed Sparking Brakes Suspect NR09523kr

On November 6, 2009 at around 12:30 p.m., 35-year-old, Carlos Mares, a resident of Los Angeles was arrested by LAPD detectives.  Detectives believe that there may be more victims and ask the victims to contact West Bureau Sex Crimes Detail at 213-473-0447.

Los Angeles: 
A sexual assault suspect has been targeting lone females driving in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles.  The suspect uses a ruse to get women to pull their cars to the curb and then offers to help them before he sexually assaults and gropes them.

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives have released a composite sketch of a male Hispanic they believe is responsible for six sexual assaults, with the likelihood of additional, unreported assaults.  The suspect drives a late 1990's white compact car.

The first incident occurred back in August of this year, and there were five similar assaults reported last month.  Generally, the suspect pulls up next to a woman driving alone in her car and communicates with her that her car tire is sparking.  He instructs the victim to pull to the curb and then offers to check the victim's brakes and tires.  Once he is in close proximity to the women, he sexually assaults them.

All of the incidents have occurred on weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.  Investigators are asking for the public's help to identify this suspect and are also warning people to be aware of this scam to avoid being victimized.  The suspect's behavior is becoming more aggressive and detectives are hoping to capture him before he seriously injures someone.  So far, none of the victim's have required medical treatment.  

Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD's Operation West Bureau Sex Crimes Detail, Officers Flores or Cruz at 213-473-0447.  After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text "CRIMES" with a cell phone or log on to and click on "Web Tips."  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD." Tipsters may remain anonymous.