Police are stepping up patrols in the Goring and Ferring area following a third incident in which females were attacked.
On Friday (March 20th) a 15-year-old girl walking from Goring-by-Sea railway station towards Littlehampton was shoved in the back and attempts were made to take her bag. She resisted and her lone attacker ran off down an alleyway.
The day before (Thursday March 19th) a 19-year-old woman was grabbed as she left public toilets at Ferring village hall. She managed to break free and run to a nearby shop for help. She was unhurt.
Only some 10 minutes later a 36-year-old woman, accompanied by her 10-year-old daughter, was approached in Meadow Way, Ferring, and asked by a youth to help him find his injured dog.
While travelling in her van to nearby Onslow Drive he made sexual remarks and tried to accost her, but after removing him from the vehicle the woman locked herself and daughter inside and he made off.
None of the victims were seriously hurt. In each case their assailant was said to be a young man wearing a light grey or khaki waterproof jacket.
Detective Constable Natalie Freeman, of West Sussex CID, said: “One line of enquiry we are following is that these incidents may be linked.
“Crime of this nature is extremely rare in these communities and we are carrying out a thorough investigation into all three attacks.
“Meanwhile police patrols in the area have been reinforced, both to deter further offending and to try to identify the person responsible as swiftly as possible.”
Anyone with information that may assist is asked to email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 101. Alternatively, it is possible to contact the independent charity Crimestoppers without having to leave a name on 0800 555 111.