Rapes put spotlight on caution

Updates at bottom of story

Police are telling downtown residents, particularly young women, to be careful after two break-ins recently. One happened this weekend on Radcliffe Street, in which a 20-year-old woman was raped. The suspect's description is the same in both cases, according to The Post and Courier: "a black man, 6 feet 1 inches to 6 feet 3 inches with a shaved head and puffy cheeks."

The Post and Courier continues:

(Police Lt. Charles) Mitchell said police are not trying to alarm residents but want them to be proactive in preventing another occurrence.

Police Sgt. Trevor Shelor, the city's Crime Prevention Officer, late Tuesday notified residents about the burglaries by an e-mail through a community information system called CrimeWeb.net.

In the e-mail, he said female, college-age residents are particularly vulnerable.

"Please alert your residents to be particular about locking their homes, doors, and windows, using alarms, turning on outside lights and reporting any suspicious people or sounds," Shelor wrote.

So, yeah. I think the point is simply this: Don't freak out. But be cautious, and be aware.

Update 1: The Post and Courier updates with contact information:
Anyone with information that could help solve recent cases in Charleston is asked to call 577-7434. Anyone with information about the recent sexual assault in North Charleston is asked to call 554-5700. Anonymous tips also can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 554-1111 or 5541111.com. Texters can send Crime Stoppers tips to CRIMES, or 274637, and mark the beginning of the message as "tip213."

PEOPLE AGAINST RAPE: 745-0144, peopleagainstrape.org.


Update 2: Another (but unrelated) rape has been reported by a woman, this time on the College of Charleston campus. Rasheid Miquelle Mervin is sought in this case, he had gone on a date with the victim prior to the incident.

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