VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Investigators with the Virginia Beach Police Department say a man has been intentionally exposing himself to women near Landstown Commons Shopping Center.
Authorities say the suspect, seen sitting in a vehicle, will summon women passing by to "ask for directions." They say when the victim approaches the vehicle, the suspect exposes himself while performing a sexual act.
Rachel Finnell, who works at the Ross at the shopping center, told News 3's Allison Mechanic that one woman came to her store for help after falling victim to the man's scheme.
"She just came into the Ross and said something," Finnell said. "Ross called the cops and then we were told today to [not] go up to anybody, stay away from everybody."
Although offering directions is a simple task that most locals do without having to think twice, many say they're now hesitant before lending a helping hand.
"You want to teach your children to help people, but you don't want to put themselves in a situation that could lead to something worse or scary," said Denise Glatt. "This is closest to my house and I shop here all the time, so I'll just be cautious now and on guard."
Police say this criminal behavior has been reported numerous times over the last several months. They say women of all ages have fallen victim to the man's scheme. Investigators have reason to believe there may be more victims who don't know this is a crime or are unsure of how to report it.
Police have not provided News 3 with a description of the suspect or car.
If you have been a victim of such a crime, you are asked to call (757) 385-4101 to file a report.