SALEM -- Police in Salem are warning women about a man they describe as a "serial groper" who is on the loose and sneaking up behind women.
The man is responsible for at least six assaults, dating back to October, and he doesn't appear to be slowing down, police said.
The groper struck on Nov. 10 and twice last week, as first reported by the Statesman Journal. He was described as a white man in his 30s, about 5-foot-6, wearing a dark hoodie, khakis and knit gloves. Investigators said every attack is the same: The man approaches women from behind, gropes them and then runs off.
"This person is prolific. I mean, they've been very, very active," said Lt. Dave Okada with the Salem Police Department.
Willamette University has notified students and staff to be on guard. They also beefed up security on campus.
"It's unsettling that there's someone out there and someone harassing people," said student Carol Li.
"I have never felt scared walking alone by myself at night, so this is definitely something that I think is having an affect on the student body," added student Rae Lloyd-Leaver.
The following alert was sent out to Willamette University students and staff Monday:
Dear Willamette Community,
Last Wednesday, an alert was sent out reporting that a student was assaulted by a male subject near Hatfield Library. On Saturday evening another student was inappropriately touched by a male subject, who matches the description of the prior incident. This student was getting into her car in the Sparks parking lot.
The suspect has previously been described as a white male in his early 30s, 5'6"-5'7" tall, wearing a dark/black hoodie, khaki pants and knit gloves. The Salem Police Department is working on the case with the support of Campus Safety.
Please take special care for your safety and that of others until this person is apprehended. Campus Safety is maintaining heightened alert and will provide free transportation or escort service anywhere on campus or in the adjacent community.
If you have information to share or observe anything suspicious, please call 6911 from any campus phone, or (503) 370-6911 from any other line immediately. If a private phone is unavailable, you may use any of the emergency blue phones installed across campus.
Anyone with information that might help capture the groper was urged to call Salem police.