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Community Tips Are Helping Ross Township Rape Investigations

The investigation into two sexual assaults that have shocked Ross Township residents continues with the community's help.

The first reported rape occurred January 7 at 9:30 AM in the Woodhawk Club apartment complex in Ross Township, and was followed by a report of a sexual assault by a man with a revolver in the Cascades apartment complex on Monday morning.

Ross Police Sergeant Benjamin Dripps said that the two attacks were not necessarily committed by the same person.

"There are many similarities between the two incidents," Dripps said. "There is certainly reason to believe that they are related, but we cannot confirm that at this time."

The description of the assailant was the same for both cases. Victims described their attacker as a black man, standing about 6 feet, 1 inch tall, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and a ski mask or knit cap. In the first case, the attacker confronted the woman outside of her apartment and forced his way into the apartment while showing a revolver. In the second, the aggressor was already waiting inside the apartment with a revolver.

Community Input Helps

"We continue to field calls from concerned residents, people who may have witnessed the potential suspect's vehicle or the potential suspect in or around apartment complexes within Ross Township," Dripps said. "There is also forensic evidence that has been collected and submitted to the crime lab for analysis."

Dripps emphasized that Ross Township has not become "the crime capital of the world" overnight, but warned residents that it's smart to stay alert at all times.

"Be cautious in your normal everyday activities, when you go outside in the morning to get your paper, start your car, walk your dog, things of that nature," Dripps said. "Regardless of whether it's this particular week or any, keep your doors locked, keep your car locked and know your surroundings."

According to the Post-Gazette, a similar rape committed in Hopewell on Saturday morning is likely not related to the two Ross Township cases.