AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department is asking for help in identifying a suspect involved in three north Austin robberies that began last month and are “escalating.”

According to APD, the suspect in each of the cases has a similar description, and the motive for each robbery “appears to be sexual in nature.” All three incidents also occurred in close proximity to one another. Police say one of the incidents happened to a mother who was walking near Wooldridge Elementary School.

The first incident occurred just before 8 a.m. on Sept. 22 in the 1600 block of Rutland Drive. Police say a woman was walking home from her child’s school when the suspect touched her inappropriately. He then grabbed the victim by the arm, threatened her with a knife and demanded her property.

The second incident happened around 8:10 a.m. on Oct. 11 in the 1700 block of Colony Creek Drive. According to police, a woman was walking to her child’s school when the suspect approached her with a knife and demanded her personal items. He told the woman he would return the items in exchange for sex, police say.

The third incident occurred in the laundry room of an apartment complex in the 9300 block of Northgate Boulevard at around 11 a.m. on Oct. 14. Police say a woman was with her child in the laundry room when the suspect walked in “performing a sexual act.” He then demanded personal items and threatened to hurt the woman and take her child.

“It appears that if the victims have young children with them that he is not afraid to approach them,” said Detective Jacob Beirowski.

Police say the suspect descriptions are similar in all three cases:

Incident #1Incident #2Incident #3
Hispanic maleHispanic maleHispanic male
Approx. 20-25 years oldApprox. 25 years oldApprox. 20 years old
Approx. 5’3″Approx. 5’3″ to 5’5″Approx. 5’1″
Thin build, facial stubbleThin mustache, light stubble, medium-length black hairThin build, clean-shaven face, well-groomed
Black T-shirt, black shorts, black baseball capBlack hoodie, black baseball cap, black pantsRed T-shirt, black shorts, black and white baseball cap

“I would advise the community to be aware of their surroundings, if they’re out walking alone during the day and as well as night, to not have both of their ears plugged with headphones,” said Beirowski.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the APD Robbery Tip Line at (512) 974-5092. You can also contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at (512) 472-TIPS.

When KXAN looked up robbery statistics in that area on APD’s crime search data base, we found about 20 robberies occurred in 2019. That number almost doubled in 2020. So far this year, there have been 23.